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Pain is a common and distressing symptom in children with cancer. Neuropathic (nerve) pain is a particular type of pain that is challenging to assess and treat. Neuropathic pain can result from nerve injury or disease affecting the peripheral or central nervous system. It is estimated that 20% of people with cancer have cancer-related neuropathic pain. Neuropathic cancer-related pain negatively impacts all aspects of children’s quality of life. Awareness of neuropathic pain by patients, families and health care professionals and access to effective prevention and treatments are the most important factors in preventing or reducing the impact of neuropathic cancer pain in children.
This presentation provided an overview of neuropathic pain in children with cancer, how to assess it, how to manage it using pharmacological, psychological and physical strategies as well as directions for future research.
Jennifer Stinson, RN-EC, PhD, CPNP
Mary Jo Haddad Nursing Chair in Child Health, Nurse Practitioner, Chronic Pain Program
The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON
Associate Professor, Lawrence S. Bloomberg, Faculty of Nursing, Institute of Medical Sciences, Institute of Health Policy and Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON