The diagnosis of cancer is often a terrifying one. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 12.7 million people are diagnosed with cancer each year. Cancer stricken individuals can undergo various treatments including chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. In some cases, chemotherapy drugs can promote the development of peripheral neuropathy, damaging the nerves of the arms and legs.
Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) occurs as a response to chemotherapy drugs such as Eribulin, Bortezomib, and Taxol. At US Neuropathy Centers, we treat and manage a range of peripheral neuropathies in an effort to help give patients their lives back. With 14 locations across the United States, US Neuropathy Centers is the leading neuropathy clinic in the country.
Depending mostly on the nerves involved with the condition, symptoms may vary. Some common symptoms of chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) include:
- Pain (shooting, stabbing)
- Pins and needles feeling
- Loss of sensation
- Difficulty using hands and fingers
- Trouble balancing
- Pressure to limbs
- Muscle weakness
- Decreased/loss of reflexes
Normal activities such as buttoning your shirt or tying your shoes may seem impossible when CIPN symptoms take over. More serious problems can occur as a response to this condition like increased heart rate and blood pressure, difficulty breathing, organ failure, and paralysis. Peripheral neuropathy is not only caused by chemotherapy. Diabetes, alcohol abuse, shingles, HIV, and spinal cord injuries are some other causes that may promote nerve pain.
During chemotherapy, prescription drugs spread throughout the body that can unfortunately manipulate the function of nerves. CIPN symptoms usually occur on both sides of the body, and is often referred to as “stocking-glove distribution” when it affects both hands and both feet.
Fortunately, chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy can be managed. These treatments can be implemented into your care plan to manage debilitating symptoms:
- Vitamin E
- Anti-convulsant medication
- Other vitamin supplements (i.e. calcium and magnesium)
There is no evidence that these therapies will completely get rid of CIPN symptoms. Clinical trials and research are contributing to the development of innovative and effective ways to treat this condition. If you suffer from CIPN or any form of peripheral neuropathy, trust the experts at US Neuropathy Centers to help.
If you are suffering from neuropathy, please do not hesitate to call us at any of our US Neuropathy Centers locations. With offices in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming, our neuropathy experts are easily accessible and here to help.
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.
@US Neuropathy Centers, 2018