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How do you treat neuropathy from chemo?

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Quick Answer

Treatment for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy typically involves treating the symptoms associated with the condition, states American Cancer Society. Treatment can involve drugs such as steroids, opioids or narcotics for severe pain, electrical nerve stimulation, physical therapy or acupuncture.

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Additional treatments for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy include the use of anti-seizure medications, antidepressants and patches or creams that induce a numbing sensation, according to American Cancer Society. Occupational therapy, guided imagery, biofeedback and relaxation therapy are also used to treat neuropathy caused by cancer treatment. Controlling neuropathy is not always possible, but not drinking alcohol, controlling blood sugar for diabetics, allowing more time to complete activities and avoiding things such as tight shoes or certain tasks that make the condition worse can help. For neuropathy in the hands, care should be taken when using knives or other sharp objects.

In some cases, peripheral neuropathy related to cancer treatment goes away when treatment ceases, states American Cancer Society. When neuropathy occurs during treatment, the patient is monitored to see if the condition is worsening. In some cases, treatment is delayed, the type of chemotherapy drug is changed or smaller doses are used to prevent permanent or long-term damage. Severe chemo-induced neuropathy can be a lasting effect of cancer treatment for some people.

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