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Neuropathy and Metastatic Breast Cancer

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Neuropathy is damage to your peripheral nervous system. Your peripheral nervous system is made up of the nerves that bring signals from the brain and spinal cord to other (peripheral) parts of the body, such as the hands and feet. Peripheral nervous system damage affects the way the body sends signals to muscles, joints, skin, and internal organs. At first, most people notice a change in the feelings in their fingertips and toes. The change of feeling gradually moves to the hands and feet.

Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and certain hormonal and targeted therapies may cause neuropathy.

If you think you have neuropathy, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. If chemotherapy is causing the neuropathy, you may be able to switch to a different chemotherapy medicine or your doctor may be able to adjust your dose. There also may be other medicines, pain patches, or topical creams that can help. Certain complementary and holistic medicine techniques, such as acupuncture and massage, can sometimes help stimulate feeling in your nerves. Talk to your doctor about possible treatment options.

Learn more about neuropathy.

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