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E-Poster Display

1872P - Pain in oncology: Prevalence and characterization


17 Sep 2020


E-Poster Display


Supportive Care and Symptom Management

Tumour Site


Renato Cunha


Annals of Oncology (2020) 31 (suppl_4): S988-S1017. 10.1016/annonc/annonc291


R. Cunha, A.G. da Silva Oliveira, T.D.P. Carvalho, M.B. Menezes, I. Dunoes, M. Inacio, R.D. Dinis

Author affiliations

  • Medical Oncology Department, Hospital Espírito Santo, EPE – Évora, 7000-811 - Evora/PT


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Abstract 1872P


Cancer-associated pain is prevalent and impacts quality of life. Evaluation is crucial and questionnaires are a validated tool to assess pain. Over half of patients report pain, especially in advanced disease, with one third inadequately treated. Our aim is to evaluate prevalence, characteristics and risk factors for pain and its impact on quality of life in cancer patients.


Investigator initiative study for adult cancer patients under treatment. Brief pain inventory based questionnaire. Statistical analysis with IBM SPSS v25.


115 patients were analyzed (median age 62 years, 63% female). Most common cancers were breast (35%) and colorectal (29%) and 71% had stage IV disease, particularly bone and liver metastasis. Besides current therapy, 69% had previous surgery or radiotherapy. 73% were under treatment with chemotherapy and 27% with other systemic treatments. Two-thirds reported having experienced pain, mainly lumbar, knee or chest pain and described as stabbing or tingling. While one third had pain currently, this value increased to half in the previous week and two-thirds in the previous 6 months. In patients reporting pain, 58% considered that the physician shows high concern for this symptom and values their complaints. Also, 81% had prescribed analgesia, with half being treated with opioids (median dose equivalent to 40 milligrams of oral morphine). 20% of patients did not have prescribed analgesia, 35% showed low or no effect from analgesia and 15% considered the physician showed low or no concern about pain or patients’ complaints. Pain’s impact was most severe on mood, normal work and sleep, with 60% referring moderate to very high impact on these tasks. Female sex correlated significantly with pain (OR 4,39; CI 95% 1,94-9,95; p<0,001) and age ≥ 65 years showed a trend for correlation (1,98; 0,92-4,30; 0,081). Stage IV disease correlated significantly with pain in the last 6 months (2,33; 0,60-2,87; 0,487).


Our study shows high prevalence of pain in cancer patients, particularly in advanced stages and female or older patients. Results support that more than one third have inadequate analgesia. We believe that this study is crucial to evaluate our practices and improve the medical care provided to patients.

Clinical trial identification

Editorial acknowledgement

Legal entity responsible for the study

Renato Cunha.


Has not received any funding.


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.

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