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GIORNALE ITALIANO DI DERMATOLOGIA E VENEREOLOGIA

A Journal on Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2017 October;152(5):413-7

DOI: 10.23736/S0392-0488.16.05305-0

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Pain evaluation in patients affected by cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and actinic keratosis: an observational study

Emi DIKA, Sabina VACCARI, Pier A. FANTI, Bianca M. PIRACCINI, Alessia BARISANI , Carlotta BARALDI, Annalisa PATRIZI

Dermatology Unit, Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy


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BACKGROUND: Pain is a frequent symptom in cancer patients. The aim of our study was to evaluate the presence of pain in histopathologically-diagnosed hypertrophic actinic keratosis (AK) or cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
METHODS: An observational study evaluating pain presence and intensity in skin cancer was performed, including patients affected either by SCC or by hypertrophic AK. Pain intensity was assessed using the 11-point Numeric Rating Scale, ranging from 0 (absence of pain) to 10 (most intense pain). Both spontaneous pain and pressure-related pain intensity, due to local digital pressure, were evaluated.
RESULTS: In patients with SCC, spontaneous pain was present in 57.5% of the cases, while pressure-related pain was revealed in 80.0% of the cases. In hypertrophic AK patients, spontaneous pain was detected only in 15.0% of the cases, while pressure-related pain was present in 25.0% of the cases. A statistically significant difference between the 2 groups was found in the evaluation of spontaneous and pressure-related pain values, these values being significantly higher in the SCC group. No significant correlations between the degree of inflammation, the histotype or invasiveness of SCCs, and the intensity of pain were found.
CONCLUSIONS: The recognition of pain as a symptom, more frequently associated with SCC, might prove useful in the clinical practice. Further research is needed, in order to better understand and characterize pain associated with different skin neoplasms.


KEY WORDS: Squamous cell carcinoma - Skin neoplasms - Pain - Actinic keratosis - Nociceptors - Inflammation

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Publication History

Issue published online: September 12, 2017
Article first published online: April 20, 2016
Manuscript accepted: April 19, 2016
Manuscript revised: April 5, 2016
Manuscript received: December 23, 2015

Cite this article as

Dika E, Vaccari S, Fanti PA, Piraccini BM, Barisani A, Baraldi C, et al. Pain evaluation in patients affected by cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and actinic keratosis: an observational study. G Ital Dermatol Venereol 2017;152:413-7. DOI: 10.23736/S0392-0488.16.05305-0

Corresponding author e-mail

alessiabarisani@gmail.com