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Whether you know it or not, your nervous system works hard for your body every day. Your nervous system helps you get ready for work in the morning, do simple math problems, and make dinner at night.
Your nervous system sends messages back and forth from your brain to different parts of your body letting you know you should react to certain senses.
So what happens to your nervous system during chemotherapy? Some chemotherapy drugs may cause damage to the nerves that help control the sensations of your arms and legs. This is called peripheral neuropathy.
Peripheral neuropathy can develop at any stage of cancer, even after treatment has been completed. Knowing the causes and side effects can help you manage and describe symptoms to your health care team.
According to a recent study, peripheral neuropathy symptoms tend to start farthest away from the head, and move closer over time. Here’s what side effects to look for:
You can minimize the effects of neuropathy by talking with your doctor and following his/her instructions. You will also want to:
With appropriate treatment, the effects of peripheral neuropathy can be manageable.
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How do you stay active during chemo to improve your balance and coordination? Tell us in the below comments.
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