Managing Chemotherapy induced peripheral Neuropathy after cancer treatment.
What is Chemotherapy induced Neuropathy
Chemotherapy induced neuropathy is a nerve discord that can cause weakness, numbness, tingling and pain. It is a common side of effect related to some types of chemotherapy.
Doctors and researcher are working to refine cancer treatments, but they still have side effects. Chemotherapy is used to kill cancer cells, but some chemotherapeutic agents can also affect the nerves that connect the spinal cord to muscles and skin. This condition is known as peripheral neuropathy.
What types of chemotherapy cause peripheral neuropathy
There are certain chemotherapy drugs that are more likely to cause neuropathy. Below is a list of drugs that are likely to cause chemo induced peripheral neuropathy. Symptoms can differ depending on chemotherapy type, dosage, frequency, and other pre-existing health conditions.
• Taxotere (docetaxel)
• Jevtana (carbazitaxel)
• Velban (vinblastine)
• Ixempra (ixabepilone)
• Thalomid (thalidomide)
• Revlimid (lenalidomide)
• Velcade (bortezomib)
• Pomalyst (promalidomide)
• Halaven (eribulin)
• Kyprolis (carfilzomib)
What are the most common symptoms of chemo induced peripheral neuropathy
In general, side effects include feeling of numbness or "pins and needles" in your hands and feet; difficulty picking up an object or buttoning clothing; sudden, stabbing pains in your hands or feet; muscle weakness or cramps; loss of balance or having difficulty walking; and feeling heat and cold, more or less than usual.
Nursing tips for managing peripheral neuropathy
• If you are taking pain medicines, use them as your doctor prescribes them. Most pain medicines work best if they are taken before the pain gets bad
• Avoid hot or cold temperatures, or snug clothes or shoes as these may make you neuropathy worse.
• Allow extra time to do things. Ask friends for help with tasks you find hard to do.
• Don’t drink alcohol. It can cause nerve damage on its own and might make it worse.
• Talk to your doctor or nurse about whether it is safe to exercise. A physical therapist can make suggestions for what might be most helpful to you.
• Drink plenty of water and eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to get enough fiber to avoid constipation.
• Avoid cold exposure and sudden chilling (e.g., reaching into a refrigerator or freezer, air conditioning in the summer, drinking ice-cold drinks, eating ice cream or other cold foods, cold shower), which can induce acute CIPN for ﬁve to seven days after treatment.
• If you have neuropathy in your hands, be very careful when using knives, scissors, box cutters, and other sharp objects. Use them only when you can give your full attention to your task.
• Protect your hands by wearing gloves when you clean, work outdoors, or do repairs. Take care of your feet. Look at them once a day to see if you have any injuries or open sores.
• Always wear shoes that cover your whole foot when walking, even at home. Talk to your doctor about shoes or special inserts that can help protect your feet.
• Be sure that you have ways to support yourself if you have problems with stumbling while walking. Handrails in hallways and bathrooms may help you keep your balance. A walker or cane can give you extra support.
• Use night lights or flashlights when getting up in the dark.
• Protect yourself from heat injuries. Set hot water heaters between 105° to 120°F to reduce scalding risk while washing your hands. Use oven gloves and hot pads when handling hot dishes, racks, or pans. Check bath water with a thermometer. Keep your hands and feet warm and well covered in cold weather. For example, consider keeping a pair of gloves in your car. Avoid extreme temperatures.
Using a Neuropathy Cream to manage Chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy
Some lotions may help manage symptoms relate to peripheral neuropathy. It is important to choose a cream that has ingredients that have evidence shown to decrease and manage symptoms. Choosing a natural and organic cream without harmful chemicals and natural ingredients is also important
Topical menthol has shown some benefit in mitigating neuropathy symptoms. Capsaicin also has some evidence that it helps manage symptoms related to chemo induced neuropathy.. Dermavitalty Neuropathy Support Cream is a natural and organic cream Capsicum Frutescens Fruit Extract, menthol, and peppermint oil. It also has skin hydrating and nourishing ingredient to help support the health of your skin.
1. Rational treatment of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy with capsaicin 8% patch: from pain relief towards disease modification https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6613356/.
2. Prospective cohort study on efficacy of topical capsaicin as treatment of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathyhttps://neuropathy https://oncologypro.esmo.org/meeting-resources/esmo-virtual-congress-2020/prospective-cohort-study-on-efficacy-of-topical-capsaicin-as-treatment-of-chemotherapy-induced-peripheral-neuropathy
3. Topical Menthol for Treatment of Chemotherapy-induced Peripheral Neuropathy https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5545968/
4.Cancer treatment-related neuropathic pain: proof of concept study with menthol—a TRPM8 agonist https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00520-015-2642-8