Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral Neuropathy

Neuropathy (peripheral) is the damage that occurs to the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord that carries messages to and from the rest of your body. Depending on where these nerves are located and damaged, various symptoms may develop such as:

  • Numbness, tingling or pain in the hands and/or feet
  • Muscle weakness
  • A change in organ function, such as constipation

The damage to your nerves may have several causes as well:

  • A tumor that presses on or grows into a peripheral nerve
  • Some cancer treatments including certain chemotherapy drugs, radiation therapy or surgery
  • Some cancer-related disorders such as paraneoplastic syndrome or shingles
  • Non-cancer-related conditions and diseases, including diabetes.

Key Points:

  • Neuropathy is damage to the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord (peripheral nerves). 
  • The American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) advises an integrative approach to managing peripheral neuropathy.
  • A few other therapies have some evidence of effectiveness.

Managing your Neuropathy

The American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) advises an integrative approach to managing peripheral neuropathy:[ 1 ]

  • Eating well, including a balanced diet that includes specific nutrients such as vitamin B and antioxidants
  • Physical therapy
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Relaxation
  • Moving more

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