Chemotherapy, or chemo, can cause damage to the nerves. This damage is called peripheral neuropathy (say "puh-RIFF-uh-rul noo-RAW-puh-thee"). It can affect the nerves that control your sense of touch, how you feel pain and temperature, and your muscle strength.
Some common symptoms of neuropathy are:
Neuropathy from chemo usually builds slowly over a few months. You may have your worst symptoms right after a chemo treatment. Then they may improve a bit until the next treatment.
After you finish chemo, your symptoms may improve or go away. This may take as much as a year or more. In some cases, some of the nerve damage may be permanent.
For treating pain, there is no single treatment that works for everyone. You and your doctor may want to try different things.
Tell your doctor right away about any new or changing symptoms during chemo. Your doctor may be able to change your chemo treatment to help prevent nerve damage.
Be careful to avoid injury.
Eat a balanced diet. Also, avoid alcohol and smoking. They can make neuropathy worse.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
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Current as of: July 26, 2016
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Thomas M. Bailey, MD - Family Medicine & Karin M. Lindholm, DO - Neurology & Jimmy Ruiz, MD - Hematology, Oncology
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