Opioid Use in Patients With Cervical Cancer at a Tertiary Academic Medical Center

Madison Nichols, Anam Kesaria, Horace J. Spencer, Heather R. Williams, Santanu Samanta, Gary D. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Aim: Opioids are a common treatment for cancer-related pain and information is limited on the rates of opioid use for cervical cancer patients. This study aimed to analyze outpatient opioid use and various predictors among patients with cervical cancer at a tertiary academic medical center. Patients and Methods: Data from patients with cervical cancer receiving treatment at a single institution, from August 2019 to July 2022, were retrospectively collected. Women with unrelated chronic opioid use or opioid use associated with acute inpatient stays were excluded. Charts were reviewed for patient demographics, disease characteristics, treatment characteristics, disease outcomes, and opioid prescriptions. The primary endpoint was duration of opioid use ≥6 months. Pearson’s chi-squared testing, Welch’s two-sample t-testing and Fisher’s exact testing were used to determine predictors of opioid use ≥6 months. Results: In total, 108 patients with cervical cancer (76.1%) of the 142 that received treatment were prescribed opioids. In women who were prescribed outpatient opioids, the median duration of opioid use was 69 days (interquartile range=5-359 days). In total, 40 (37.0%) had prescriptions for ≥180 days and 27 (25.0%) had prescriptions ≥365 days. On bivariate analysis, lower stage and receipt of surgery were associated with opioid use duration <6 months. Age, race, histology, substance/tobacco/alcohol use, depression/anxiety, and the receipt of brachytherapy/ radiation were not associated with length of opioid prescriptions. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that 37% of patients with cervical cancer were using opioids for cancer-related pain longer than 6 months. Higher stage was associated with opioid use duration ≥6 months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-155
Number of pages5
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Cervical cancer
  • chemotherapy
  • opioid use
  • radiation
  • surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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