Little is known about pain among long-term adult survivors of childhood cancers. The study investigated pain prevalence in this population compared with sibling controls and examined pain-related risk factors. Three self-reported pain outcomes including pain conditions, prescription analgesics used, and pain attributed to cancer and treatment were assessed among 10,397 cancer survivors and 3034 sibling controls from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. Pain conditions (pain/abnormal sensation, migraines, and other headaches) were reported by 12.3%, 15.5%, and 20.5% of survivors, respectively; 16.7% of survivors reported use of prescription analgesics, and 21% attributed pain to cancer and treatment. Risks of reporting pain conditions and using prescription analgesics were higher among survivors than siblings, adjusting for sociodemographic factors. Younger age at diagnosis and a history of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Wilms tumor, or neuroblastoma (compared to leukemia) were associated with greater risk of reporting pain conditions. A history of bone cancer or soft tissue sarcoma (compared to leukemia) was associated with greater risks of using prescription analgesics and cancer-related pain attribution. Non-brain-directed scatter irradiation was associated with elevated risk for migraines and cancer-related pain attribution. Female gender and lower educational attainment were associated with increased reports of all 3 pain outcomes; minority status, unemployment, and being single were associated with greater risks for reporting pain conditions. These findings contribute to the understanding of pain and associated risk factors among adult survivors of childhood cancer and suggest areas of focus for pain intervention.
Copyright © 2011 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.