In order to measure the prevalence of pain in cancer patients we repeated the search which was used in the first review. The search was limited from September 2005 to January 2014, in order to include new literature only. The new search yielded 4117 titles, of which 122 studies were included in the review.
The prevalence of pain in cancer patients in the last review was comparable to the first review. However, there was a large increase in number of articles (122) included compared to the first review (52 articles), despite the search covering a much shorter time-span. This could be the result of a truly increased attention for cancer pain. This increased attention should result in a breakdown of barriers for optimal treatment of cancer pain over the following years. Implementation and adherence of treatment algorithms such as the WHO pain ladder needs to increase in order to decrease pain prevalence and increase the quality of life for many patients.
Written by: Johan Haumann and Marieke HJ van den Beuken-van Everdingen