Long-term course of pain in breast cancer survivors: a 4-year longitudinal study.
ABSTRACT After successful treatment of early breast cancer, many women still report pain symptoms, and attribute them to the previous illness or its treatment. However, knowledge about the long-term course of pain in breast cancer is limited. Baseline assessment included 3,088 women who received a breast cancer diagnosis on average 2 years prior to enrollment, and who completed typical medical treatments. After 4 years, a subsample of 2,160 recurrence-free women (70%) was re-assessed. The major outcome variable was the composite index for general pain symptoms. Over the 4-year course, a slight but significant increase in pain was reported. If only medical variables were examined, a triple interaction between surgery type, breast cancer stage, and time indicated that pain scores increased in most subgroups, while they decreased in stage II women after mastectomy and stage III women after lumpectomy. Using a regression analytical approach, psychological and other variables added significantly to the prediction of pain persistence. Regression analysis revealed that pain symptoms increased in those women taking tamoxifen at baseline, in those reporting depression at baseline or stressful life events during the first 12 months after enrollment. Exercise at baseline had a beneficial effect on pain recovery. The persistence or increase of pain symptoms in women surviving breast cancer is associated with some medical factors (surgery type, tamoxifen use), but also with psychological factors. Pain should be a standard outcome variable in the evaluation of cancer treatment programs.
Article: The efficacy of psychosocial intervention for pain in breast cancer patients and survivors: a systematic review and meta-analysis.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Persistent pain after breast cancer treatment is prevalent, and not all patients respond sufficiently to pharmacological treatment. Pain is recognized as a multi-dimensional phenomenon, which includes psychological and social components, and several clinical trials have investigated the efficacy of psychosocial interventions on pain in cancer patients and survivors. Our aim was to systematically review and quantify the existing research on the effect of psychosocial interventions on pain in breast cancer patients and survivors. Two independent raters reviewed 474 abstracts for eligibility, leading to the identification of 26 independent and eligible studies published between 1983 and 2012, which were assessed for their methodological quality and subjected to meta-analytic evaluation. A total of 1786 participants were included in the analyses. A statistically significant and robust overall effect size was found across all included studies (Hedges g = 0.37, 95 % CI: 0.20-0.40; p < 0.001). However, the effect size was considerably smaller (0.21), when adjusted for possible publication bias. Furthermore, the results were heterogeneous, and when exploring the sources of heterogeneity, studies of higher methodological quality were found to yield a more conservative effect size (g = 0.21, 95 % CI: 0.02-0.41) than studies of poorer quality (g = 0.65, 95 % CI: 0.25-1.04). The results also indicated that patient educational approaches yielded a larger effect size (g = 0.64) than relaxation-based interventions (g = 0.31, 95 % CI: -0.05-0.67) and supportive group therapy (g = 0.17, 95 % CI: 0.02-0.32). Taken together, while suggestive of psychosocial intervention as an effective tool in the management of pain among breast cancer patients and survivors, the results should be interpreted as preliminary. The methodological quality of the existing research varied considerably, and only few studies had selected patients on the basis of the presence of pain and included pain as the primary outcome.Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 04/2013; · 4.43 Impact Factor