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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Painful leg and hand cramps, worse at night. Taking chemotherapy for bowel cancer. Treatment?

My mother has been having painful foot leg and hand cramps and they are becoming unbearable. She had chemotherpy last year the final dose being december the cancer was of the bowel and her latest 6 month test says she is in remission, would the chemo be responsible for her symptoms and is there anything she can do to relieve them ? they seem to be worse at night.
Fri, 6 Sep 2013
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Oncologist 's  Response
Your mother is suffering from CIPN meaning chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy.
Peripheral neuropathy is disorder of nerves apart from the brain and spinal cord. Patients with peripheral neuropathy may have tingling, numbness, unusual sensations, weakness, or burning pain in the affected area. Oftentimes, the symptoms are symmetrical and involve both hands and feet. Because the symptoms are often present in the areas covered by gloves or stockings, peripheral neuropathy is often described as having a “glove and stocking” distribution of symptoms.
Chemotherapeutic drugs cause peripheral neuropathy, including the plant alkaloids (vincristine and vinblastine), taxanes (paclitaxel and docetaxel , platinum-based compounds (cisplatin,carboplatin and oxaliplatin).
Your mother has bowel cancer and is most probably using chemotherapy drug oxaliplatin which causes the ocuurence of CIPN is as high as 70 to 90%.
CIPN takes time to get reduced.It takes about 6 months to 1 year after completion of chemotherapy to get reduced totally.
Your mother can take tablet Lyrica 75 mg twice daily after food for 1 month.It contains pregabalin which will help her to reduce her painful condition.
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