The IASP Pain Research Forum hosted a virtual seminar with Perri Tutelman (Dalhousie University) and Dr. Lauren Heathcote (Stanford University Medical School) on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. It was moderated by Dr. Allen Finley (Dalhousie University).
Pain is a common but vastly understudied problem in cancer survivors. Current approaches to managing pain after cancer are similar to those for chronic non-cancer pain, yet pain after cancer affords unique biopsychosocial challenges. Pain could indicate a normal health event (e.g., muscle aches), a consequence of toxic treatment, or a recurrence of cancer. The challenge for every survivor is knowing how to monitor, attend to, and interpret everyday experiences of pain. Thus, managing pain after cancer warrants a disease- and person-specific research and treatment approach. In this seminar, we will jointly outline the current evidence for pain problems in cancer survivors from childhood to young adulthood and present cutting-edge research that combines theory-driven questions with patient-centered evidence. We will present novel data on pain experiences across international cohorts of cancer survivors spanning childhood to young adulthood. These data have resulted from diverse methodologies including qualitative interviews, quantitative measure development, and experimental pain paradigms that capture unique aspects of patient pain experiences. We will discuss how these data are situated in recent theoretical advances that also point to areas for future research.