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Research Letter
May 7, 2020

Incidence of Opioid-Associated Deaths in Cancer Survivors in the United States, 2006-2016: A Population Study of the Opioid Epidemic

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, New York
  • 2Duke Palliative Care, Division of Medical Oncology, Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, North Carolina
  • 3Department of Radiation Oncology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
JAMA Oncol. Published online May 7, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.0799

More than 40 000 people in the US died owing to opioids in 2016; the epidemic tops public health concerns. Opioids are commonly used for cancer-associated pain, and there has been a call for oncologists to become more aware of opioid-related risks and benefits.1 It is unknown, however, if opioid-related deaths in cancer survivors are rising at the same rate as in the general population.

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