Breakthrough cancer pain has attracted more and more attentions recently because it has become the biggest obstacle to control cancer pain. Pain can occur at any stage of cancer. Despite the aggressive treatment, some patients still experience high-intensity pain in the short term, which is commonly referred to as breakthrough pain. Typical breakthrough pain has clinical features such as rapid onset and short duration, and it has uncontrollable and unpredictable characteristics, which impact the overall life quality of patients and the therapeutic effect of cancer pain. It has always been a puzzle and difficult in clinical treatment of breakthrough cancer pain. This paper aims to provide a more detailed review of the definition, assessment tools, classification and characteristics, epidemiology, and mechanism and treatment of breakthrough cancer pain, in order to facilitate the future development of this work in clinical treatment.
Part of the book: From Conventional to Innovative Approaches for Pain Treatment