Pilot study of a survey to identify the prevalence and risk factors for chronic neuropathic pain in women following breast cancer surgery
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Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women. Chronic neuropathic pain post breast surgery (PPBS), also known as chronic post mastectomy/lumpectomy pain syndrome, is a poorly understood complication posing a significant clinical challenge with major negative impact on patients' quality of life. This study aims to: 1) provide a preliminary determination of the prevalence rate of women who suffer from PPBS; and 2) explore potential risk factors associated with women developing PPBS. This pilot study used a prospective, longitudinal, quantitative survey design, with a demographic questionnaire and the Brief Pain Inventory. Seventeen women were recruited at a breast health clinic in Western Canada; 23.5% developed PPBS. Younger age (≤50 years), more invasive surgery, acute post-operative pain, and less analgesic use at the acute post-operative period, were more commonly found in the women who developed PPBS. Future research is required to confirm the significance of these potential risk factors.