Pathophysiology of chemotherapy-induced pain

Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally following heart disease with an estimated 19.3 million new cancer cases and nearly 10 million cancer deaths. Africa has an incidence of 5.7% and 7.2% of cancer mortality worldwide respectively.

Palliative care services and cancer pain

The etymology of palliative means “to cloak “, to serve - to mitigate or alleviate. Palliative care is an interdisciplinary specialised medical care for people living with a serious illness/life threatening illness, such as cancer. Having cancer can make you feel many different emotions. Sadness, anxiety, anger, powerless, denial is only a few to mention.

The psychology of cancer pain

Psychological factors may influence not only a patient’s experience of pain, but their response to pain medication, too.1 In order to understand the psychology of cancer pain, we need to start with an explanation of the difference between acute and chronic pain, as they serve different functions.

Mindfulness – an adjuvant for management of pain in cancer

Pain is one of the most common and problematic symptoms experienced by people diagnosed with cancer. A 2016 systematic review and meta-analysis noted prevalence rates of:

• 39.3% after curative treatment

• 55.0% during anticancer treatment

• 66.4% in advanced, metastatic, or terminal disease

• Moderate to severe pain (numerical rating scale score ≥5) was reported by 38.0% of all patients.


Health Professions Council of South Africa


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Nociceptive Views - Edition 13 - 2022

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