This article describes an analysis of a study carried out in Italy on 4,057 cancer patients. More than 4% of Italians - that is 2 million people - have received a cancer diagnosis. Along with a deep investigation of different aspects of pain perception, the peculiarity of this research is the comparison done between the self-perception of the patients about their illness and the data resulting from their clinical records. It is evident that often these two dimensions (illness and disease) do not matches. It is possible that such a discrepancy is due more to a patient’s wish "to not know" than to poor health communications carried out by physicians.
Keywords: Cancro, dolore, illness, disease, comunicazione oncologica, patografia