Current Pain and Headache Reports

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 256-260

First online:

Musculoskeletal Pain Associated With Corticosteroid Therapy in Cancer

  • Deborah A. FriezeAffiliated withUniversity of Washington Medical Center Email author 

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Corticosteroids have multiple uses in the care of the cancer patient. Although they confer benefit to the patient, high doses and extended duration of use may lead to significant adverse effects. Adverse effects such as osteoporosis-induced fractures, osteonecrosis, myopathy and myalgias can cause significant pain and have a negative impact on the patient’s quality of life. In this paper, I will review the mechanisms involved in the toxicity, risk factors, prevalence, prevention, and treatment strategies.


Musculoskeletal pain Corticosteroid therapy Cancer Osteoporosis Osteonecrosis Myopathy Myalgia