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Current smokers with cancer report more severe pain, more interference from pain

Wednesday, December 29, 2010 (Last Updated: 12/30/2010)

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- There may be an association between increased pain severity plus interference from pain and being a smoker in individuals with a cancer diagnosis, according to research published in the January issue of PAIN.

Joseph W. Ditre, Ph.D., of Texas A&M University in College Station, and colleagues analyzed self-reports of pain in 224 cancer patients about to begin chemotherapy to study the associations between multiple levels of smoking status and pain-related outcomes in this patient population.

The researchers found reports of more severe pain in those who continued to smoke after their cancer diagnosis than in patients who had never smoked. The current smokers also reported a greater level of interference from their pain than former or never smokers. Former smokers reported experiencing less pain with increased number of years since they quit.

"These data suggest that continued smoking despite a cancer diagnosis is associated with greater pain severity and interference from pain; however, future research is warranted to determine the directionality of this relationship," the authors write.

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Specialties Pain Management
Hematology & Oncology

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