Managing Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN): An Integrative Approach to Prevention and Treatment
Chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is one of the most common side effects to cancer treatment that we help manage with comprehensive, evidence based, and individualized therapeutics. Chemotherapy drugs are designed to target rapidly dividing cells, which is a hallmark of cancer cells. Unfortunately, these drugs can also affect normal, healthy cells, leading to a range of side effects. CIPN specifically involves damage to the peripheral nerves, which connect the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. These nerves are responsible for transmitting sensations like pain, temperature, and touch.
Symptoms of CIPN
The symptoms of CIPN can vary widely and may manifest differently in everyone. Common symptoms include:
1. Numbness and Tingling: Patients often experience a tingling or “pins and needles” sensation, accompanied by numbness in the hands and feet.
2. Pain and Discomfort: Persistent pain, ranging from a dull ache to sharp, shooting pains, is a hallmark of CIPN.
3. Loss of Sensation: Some individuals may notice a diminished ability to feel pressure, temperature changes, or textures, impacting their daily activities.
4. Motor Skill Impairment: Weakness and difficulties with fine motor skills may arise, making tasks like buttoning a shirt or holding a utensil challenging.
5. Balance and Coordination Issues: CIPN can affect the proprioceptive nerves, leading to balance problems and an increased risk of falls.
Our approach to CIPN:
Acupuncture has been shown to alleviate CIPN pain and promote nerve regeneration and repair by enhancing blood flow and modulating the nervous system and inflammatory response. Thin needles are inserted, and a gentle electric current is run between them to stimulate affected nerves.
Also known as low-level laser therapy or red-light therapy, involves the use of low-intensity light to stimulate cellular function and promote healing. This non-invasive approach harnesses the power of light at specific wavelengths to enhance cellular activity, reduce inflammation, and alleviate pain. PBM has shown promise in various medical fields, and its application in managing CIPN is gaining attention.
Optimized status of micronutrients including Vitamin B12, D, and E, as well as magnesium are associated with decreased severity of CIPN. At Port Moody Health we take an individualized approach to assessing and treating nutrient deficiencies ranging from dietary planning to intravenous and intramuscular injections.
These therapies are most effective when started before chemotherapy begins, but they are helpful during any stage of the process. We are looking forward to helping you thrive!
To Book an appointment with Dr. Martineau, please call us at 604-949-0077Leave a reply