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Research Letter
April 2018

Opioid Prescription Patterns Among Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Department of Otolaryngology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston
  • 3Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2018;144(4):382-383. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2017.3343

Head and neck cancer (HNCA) pain represents a significant physical, psychological, and financial burden for patients.1 Opioids remain a mainstay of treatment for these patients, and head and neck oncologists must balance the goal of optimal pain control with the risks of abuse.1 Current literature has not thoroughly characterized opioid prescription patterns among patients with HNCA. The objective of this study is to quantify the use of opioid analgesics among patients with HNCA and compare this with use among patients with lung or colon cancer (LCCA).