Side Effects of Chemotherapy

Nervous System Changes

Chemotherapy can damage your nervous system. Many nervous system problems

improve within a year of completion of chemotherapy, but some may last for the rest of your life.

 

 

Ways to Manage Nervous System Changes:

  • Let your doctor or nurse know right away if you notice any nervous system changes. It is important to treat these problems as soon as possible.
  • Be careful when handling knives, scissors and other sharp or dangerous objects.
  • Avoid falling. Walk slowly, hold on to handrails when using the stairs and put non-slip bath mats in your bathtub or shower. Make sure there are no rugs or cords around to trip over.
  • Always wear sneakers, tennis shoes or other footwear with rubber soles.
  • Use a thermometer to check the temperature of your bath water to avoid burning yourself.
  • Be extra careful to avoid burning or cutting yourself while cooking.
  • Wear gloves when working in the garden, cooking or washing dishes.
  • Rest when you need to.
  • Steady yourself when you walk by using a cane or other walking aids.
  • Talk to your doctor or nurse if you notice memory problems, or if you feel confused or depressed.
  • Ask your doctor for pain medication if you need it.

Symptoms May Include

  • Tingling, burning, weakness, or numbness in your hands or feet
  • Feeling colder than normal
  • Pain when walking
  • Weak, sore, tired, or achy muscles
  • Clumsiness or losing your balance
  • Trouble picking up objects or buttoning your clothes
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Hearing loss
  • Stomach pain, such as constipation or heartburn
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion and memory problems
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
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