Persistent Breast Pain
Persistent breast pain (PBP) following a cancer diagnosis and treatment is common and can be highly distressing, interfering with daily activities, and leading to decreases in overall quality of life. PBP can result from breast surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy, and hormonal treatments. Patient demographic and medical and psychosocial factors are also associated with PBP. Following breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, providers are encouraged to assess for PBP through clinical interviews and subsequent clinical assessments, as needed. Providers can also implement the use of patient reported outcomes (PROs) to assess PBP and psychosocial factors related to PBP (i.e., anxiety, depression, pain catastrophizing, self-efficacy for pain management). After a thorough assessment of PBP, there are several treatments that may be helpful to decrease pain or to decrease pain’s interference with daily activities. Treatments including the use of medication, exercise, complementary and alternative medicines, and psychosocial interventions may provide important benefits for women with PBP.