Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral Neuropathy (PN) results from damage to the nerves of the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS). The PNS comprises all of the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord. PN most commonly affects the extremities–hands and feet.

PN causes different sensations in the affected areas. Generally speaking, peripheral neuropathy will cause varying degrees of numbness in the extremities, ranging from a tingling sensation to a lack of sensation.

There are over 100 types of Peripheral Neuropathies. They are categorized based on the type of nerve affected, the area of the body affected, and the symptoms experienced by the patient. It is estimated that up to 20% of cancer patients will develop some type of PN during treatment.

Causes

PN is not exclusive to lymphoma patients or cancer patients; there are myriad causes ranging from diabetes to thyroid disorders. In lymphoma patients, the damage is usually caused by either chemotherapy or radiation. Once the drug therapy is finished, the PN usually dissipates.

The following chemotherapy agents are well known causes of PN:

Common Symptoms

Some patients experience pain while others experience numbness. Uncontrollable twitching, muscle weakness, and constipation are also symptoms.

Also, tumors may swell near nerves, causing temporary damage. If this is the case, symptoms may persist until the tumors have shrunk from treatment.

Peripheral Neuropathy as a result of cancer treatments is often temporary and patients recover quickly. If you suffer from PN for an extended period of time and symptoms do not disappear, alert your doctor (Late Effects). Medications used to treat epilepsy and depression have been known to help ease symptoms. Your doctor will know the best options for you.

Resources

Related Articles

More Articles

More Articles

There are two types of cancer: benign and malignant. Benign cancers are the kind that don't spread and don't threaten one's life. Malignant...

Hodgkin's Disease—also referred to as Hodgkin's Lymphoma, these are the exact same diseases, just...

The Follicular Lymphoma International Prognostic Index, or FLIPI, is a standardized guide to help oncological diagnosticians accurately calculate...

Diffuse large B cell lymphoma prognosis is contingent upon several factors, and can be determined by using a well-...

The term 'metastatic lymphoma' does not refer to a diagnosis. Unlike many of the subtypes of lymphoma we have...

Diagnosing lymphoma is one of the more difficult diagnoses to make in cancer medicine, and contrary to perception, diagnosing lymphoma is not made...

Burkitt's lymphoma is an aggressive B-cell lymphoma that is common in children...

Treatment for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas (NHL) differs from patient to patient. The regimen used depends on the type of...

Large Cell Lymphoma (LCL) is typically an aggressive (fast growing) cancer of either the B cell or T cell type. They are one of the most common...

Follicular lymphoma is classified as a Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. It is an indolent (slow-growing) cancer that affects...

Aggressive Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas (NHLs) are fast growing cancers (as opposed to indolent cancers). They involve...

Lymphoma is not difficult to diagnose once a patient and doctor begin to look for signs of cancer. However, Lymphoma–especially...

A lymphoma prognosis varies greatly depending on the type of lymphoma. There are more than 35 types of lymphoma, including 5 types of...

The lymphatic system, or lymph system, defends the body from foreign invasion by disease causing agents such as viruses, bacteria, or fungi. The...

Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, causing B-cell or...