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First results from major European patient survey show devastating impact of living with breakthrough cancer pain

Cancer definition

Lisbon, Portugal 11 September, 2009 – The first results of the first European survey of cancer patients’ experience of breakthrough pain were presented today at the 6th congress of the European Federation of Chapters of the International Association for the Study of Pain (EFIC).

Previous surveys have looked at the overall management of pain in cancer patients but this is the first international study to look in detail at Breakthrough Cancer Pain (BTCP) from a patient perspective. These results for the first 200 patients from the UK, Sweden and Denmark offer valuable insight into cancer patients’ experiences with breakthrough pain management and the impact of the condition on their daily lives.

  • The median number of BTCP episodes per patient per day was 3
  • Each episode had a median duration of 60 minutes
  • 96% of the pain episodes were described as moderate to severe
  • For 90% of patients their BTCP interfered with their daily living including their ability to sleep, walk and get on with other people

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