Chronic pain in breast cancer survivors
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Chronic pain in breast cancer survivors

Rachel Rawson Senior clinical nurse specialist, Breast Cancer Care, London
Marretje Miller Breast care nurse, Breast Cancer Care, London

Treatment side effects may occur immediately after surgery or several years later. Rachel Rawson and Marretje Miller describe the main causes of these complications and outline strategies to help women cope with them

The 20-year relative survival rate for women diagnosed with breast cancer in England and Wales between 1991 and 1993 was 44 per cent. The figure rose to 64 per cent for those diagnosed between 2001 and 2003 (Cancer Research UK 2009). While this is a positive development, the literature and anecdotal evidence suggest that the ongoing physical and psychological needs of breast cancer survivors may be underestimated. Follow-up care is increasingly undertaken in a variety of settings away from the hospital team, which may result in this patient group having unmet needs. This article focuses on evidence relating to the end of breast cancer treatment (survivorship phase) when long-term chronic pain can have a significant effect on recovery.

Cancer Nursing Practice. 11, 4,14-18. doi: 10.7748/cnp2012.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

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