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Persistent Post-Mastectomy Pain: Risk Factors and Current Approaches to Treatment

      Abstract

      Persistent Post-Mastectomy Pain (PPMP) is a common condition that can follow surgeries for breast cancer, the most common cancer in women. Because of the frequency of PPMP and its potential severity, it has received increasing research attention. This manuscript reviews the recent research literature, beginning with a brief history and then relevant medical, surgical, demographic, and psychosocial risk factors. Subsequently, social, psychological, and functional sequelae that have been linked to PPMPS are considered, as is research on current pharmacological, psychological, and rehabilitative approaches to treatment. The review concludes with a discussion of directions for future research and treatment that might reduce the incidence and impact of PPMP on breast cancer survivors.

      Perspective

      This article describes current research literature involving mechanisms, risks, and treatments related to persistent post-mastectomy pain. Implications of research findings also are discussed for pre- and post-surgical approaches to pain management, current treatments, and promising research directions.

      Keywords

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