Headache in patients with cancer

Samuel A. Goldlust, Jerome J. Graber, Dana F. Bossert, Edward K. Avila

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Contemporary cancer research has led to unparalleled advances in therapeutics and improved survival. Even as treatment options continue to improve, quality of life should remain a priority. Headache drastically impacts the quality of life of patients with cancer and has a wide etiological scope, making diagnosis a challenge. Intracranial mass lesions are only one cause; others include extracranial tumors, paraneoplastic processes, and the consequences of diagnostic and therapeutic interventions used in cancer care. Fortunately, cancer-related headache is treatable, but a sound understanding of the variable etiologies is crucial to appropriate diagnostic evaluation and treatment. In this review, we highlight the important causes of headache in the patient with cancer, and consider the epidemiology, pathophysiology, clinical course, and treatment options for each.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-464
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent pain and headache reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain tumor
  • Cancer
  • Headache
  • Pain
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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