Neuropathy refers to the general condition that results from nerve damage. Neuropathy may be associated with cancers as different cancers may invade nerves or nerve collections (plexus) and cause nerve damage. Even more, the main treatments for cancer (surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy) can cause neuropathy.
Symptoms of neuropathy depend on the type of nerve that is affected. If sensory nerves are affected, patients often feel numbness, tingling, burning, or an electrical sensation usually starting at the toes or fingers. Symptoms often progress up the feet and legs or arms. If motor nerves are affected, patients may feel weak and have trouble with walking. If autonomic nerves are affected, patients may have unstable blood pressures and bowel/bladder dysfunction.
Neuropathy can occur with cancer, diabetes, thyroid disease, nutritional deficiencies, surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
Your Center for Pain Management specialist will carefully review your history, perform a thorough examination, and review or order pertinent imaging before creating an individualized care plan unique to your symptoms.
Neuropathy may be treated with medications such as dexamethasone, opioids, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and local anesthetics. If these are unsuccessful, some patients suffering from neuropathic pain may benefit from a spinal cord stimulator.