Why Some Cancer Patients Develop Neuropathy

Understanding Neuropathy

Neuropathy, also known as nerve damage, is a common condition that affects the peripheral nervous system. Patients with this condition often experience debilitating symptoms including pain, numbness, and tingling sensations in the extremities. Although nerve damage is not reversible, patients can manage this through a course of treatment options to prevent it from worsening. 

There are various reasons why neuropathy can develop: from diabetes to infection. One cause of peripheral neuropathy is chemotherapy, which is a treatment used to kill cancerous cells. Continue reading to learn more about the link between neuropathy and chemotherapy. 

How Can Chemotherapy Cause Nerve Damage

Chemotherapy, while highly effective in treating cancer, can also cause nerve damage known as peripheral neuropathy. This occurs when the powerful drugs used in chemotherapy target not only cancer cells but also healthy nerve cells. Chemotherapy drugs can disrupt nerve function by damaging the myelin sheath that surrounds nerves or interfering with nerve signal transmission.

If patients experience any common neuropathy symptoms, they need to work closely with their doctor to discuss treatment options. Their doctor can discuss conservative therapy options to help the patient feel more comfortable throughout chemotherapy treatment. 

Neuropathy Treatment for Cancer Patients

After a neuropathy diagnosis, a patient’s doctor will typically begin by recommending lifestyle changes to ensure the patient is healthy enough to combat further nerve damage. This includes switching to a healthy diet, engaging in regular exercise, quitting smoking, and cutting back on or quitting drinking.

Depending on the patient’s unique condition, they will work with their pain management specialist to determine an ideal treatment route. Oftentimes, patients can manage neuropathy symptoms through a combination of pain medication and physical therapy. If this is ineffective, patients may consider additional treatment, such as spinal cord stimulation therapy with BEST Health System. 

Spinal Cord Stimulation Therapy

Spinal cord stimulation therapy is a modern treatment option for patients with nerve-related chronic pain conditions. A spinal cord stimulator is a surgically implanted medical device that blocks pain signals before they reach the brain. This is an excellent treatment option for patients who are seeking relief from debilitating chronic pain. Studies have demonstrated that this therapy not only reduces pain intensity but also allows patients to decrease their reliance on opioids and other pain medications, thereby improving their quality of life.

Neuropathy Treatment with BEST Health System

BEST Health System is a modern health system that brings advanced pain management care to patients throughout North America. We understand that neuropathy is a common issue among cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy. 
At BEST Health System, we employ in-demand doctors who specialize in pain management treatment. Have you recently been diagnosed with neuropathy? We can help. Contact us today to learn more.