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Nerve Problems and Cancer symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

22 September, 2020 Pooja Kumari

Sometimes some of the cancer treatments cause peripheral neuropathy which is a result of damage to the peripheral nerves. These are the nerves that carry information from the brain to other parts of the body. Side effects of the treatment depend on which peripheral nerve has been affected.

What Symptoms Can You Feel

Since the damage or side effects depends upon which nerve has been affected, here the symptoms are categorized on the basis of different nerves:-

Damage to sensory nerves can cause:-

  • Inability to feel any kind of hot or cold sensation, for example, touching a hot flame or stove will not give you that much sensation
  • Numbness, tingling, or you may feel pins and needles in your feet and hands which may also spread to your arms and legs
  • You become unable to feel pain, for example from a cut or sore on any part of the body.

Damage to motor nerves can cause:-

  • Twitching or cramping muscles if they are not used regularly
  • Your muscle may become weak or ache must be there. You may lose your weight that remains unexplained.
  • Difficulty in breathing or swelling, it is a result of ache in the nearby muscles.

Damage to autonomic nerves can cause:-

  • Feeling of fainting or dizziness because of low blood pressure
  • Problems indigestion such as constipation or diarrhea
  • Sexual problems may arise, in men, they may not get an erection, and woman may not get or reach orgasm
  • Sweating problems (too much or less sweating, both are hazardous)
  • Problems in urination such as difficulty in emptying the bladder or leakage of urine.

Tips to Prevent or Manage Nerve Problems After Cancer Treatment

  • Prevent falls: It is the most important point to be noticed that you need to prevent falls. Move rugs like things from your path so that you don’t trip on them and fall down and also you can put rails in the walls and bathroom so that you can hold them for balance. To avoid fiction you can put bathmats in your shower and tub. Wear shoes that are sturdy and soft; avoid heels. When you get up from your bed, just sit or lye down slowly to prevent further nerve damage.
  • Take care in the kitchen and shower: To protect your hands you should use potholders or tongs for preventing heat since you cannot feel it. Be careful when you are handling sharp objects such as blades, knives, etc. when you are going for a shower always ask someone beforehand to check the temperature of that water.
  • Protect your hands and feet: Always wear shoes whether you are inside or outside of the home. Every day check your arms, hands, and feet for cut marks or scratches. Wear warm clothes and gloves to protect your hand and feet in a proper way when it is cold outside.
  • Don’t do difficult tasks alone: Asking someone for help is advised when you have to do any kind of heavy task. Do your physical works slowly to give your body rest.

Which Treatment Can Cause This Damage

Chemotherapy: Some drugs used in chemotherapy are likely to cause nervous system side effects, these drugs mostly include the following:-

  • Etoposide
  • Vinca alkaloids
  • Platinum-based drugs such as cisplatin (Platinol) or oxaliplatin (Taxol)
  • Ifosfamide (Ifex), when taken in high doses
  • Texane drugs, such as docetaxel (Taxotere) and Paclitaxel (Taxol)
  • Methotrexate, when taken in high doses
  • Cytarabine (Cytosar-U), affects when taken in high doses

Surgery: In the procedure to remove a tumor from surgery or biopsy, the nerve may get damaged. In biopsy, a small amount of tumor is removed to examine the tissue under a microscope.

Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy that is targeted to the brain or spine can cause CNS problems on the other hand radiation therapy to the head or neck may cause peripheral nerve problems.

Some other medications can also cause nerve problems:-

  • Pain relievers
  • Drugs to avoid vomiting
  • Anticonvulsants, drugs which treat seizures

Medications to Treat Nerve Problems

  • Medicines for nausea and vertigo can work such as meclizine, prochlorperazine
  • Antibiotics to treat infections
  • Medications which are used for peripheral neuropathy
  • Antidepressants such as serotonin or norepinephrine or amitriptyline

You can buy these medicines online from 3MEDS, India’s best online pharmacy store, and get a 23% discount on all the products.

Outlook

Nerve damage or problems may interfere with your day to day activities but don’t give up. There are several options which can help you to get rid of this problem. Contact your doctor, share your problems, and take the prescribed drugs on time. You can buy prescribed drugs online from 3MEDS and get the medicines delivered at your doorstep.