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Breast Cancer and Neuropathy

Breast Cancer | Last Active: May 1, 2023 | Replies (36)

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I am a 3 year stage 2 breast cancer survivor. I have had a mastectomy followed by chemo and radiation. One year after treatments were finished I had reconstruction that led to a severe staph infection and removal of the implant. Everything has healed well for which I am very thankful. My main concern now is the neuropathy that is getting worse. I have tried Tens socks, acupuncture, gabapentin and hemp oil in a balm form. I was recently taken off from anastrazole to see if that helps. My question is if anyone has any other suggestions that have worked for them since I really want to continue on some type of medication for reacurrence.

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Replies to "I am a 3 year stage 2 breast cancer survivor. I have had a mastectomy followed..."

I @msovercomer and welcome to the Breast Cancer group on Connect. You'll notice that I moved your message to an existing discussion about breast cancer, anastrazole and neuropathy. I did this so you could meet other members of the group who are talking about this, including @susan24 @elizm @cindylb @jersey @theda and @cautiousoptimism.

Some other members have also talked about stopping anastrozole due to neuropathy and other reasons. Some were able to take another aromatase inhibitor like exemestane or letrozole. You can read more in this discussion:
– Concerned about the side effects of anastrozole http://mayocl.in/2d4tiKL

Have you talked to your oncologist about taking a different AI if the neuropathy improves with stopping anastrozole?

Hi, Misovercomer. I take two products to ease (not eliminate) my chemo-induced neuropathy. Topricin makes a homeopathic product called FIBRO Cream (I get it on Amazon) specifically for fibromyalgia and neuropathy. I also take a supplement, prescribed by a doctor of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture called Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan. (I do not recommend obtaining it from any other source, however.) And lastly, there are times when icing my lower back helps a bit. Best of luck.

@msovercomer -- FYI, I'm about to start a third product for the CIPN. Quite by accident (I was researching something else), I came across a supplement used by neurologists in Europe for various forms of neuropathic pain for the past 4-6 years, and they are reporting good results of up to 40-80% pain relief. It is palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), an endrogenous fatty acid amide produced in our body. The trick is finding it, unadulterated. I have resorted to ordering it via Amazon from the Netherlands (brand name OptiPEA), even though it has been approved by the FDA in the U.S. There are lots of great studies regarding it, posted on http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov In six weeks, I should be able to tell if it works for me.

Hi @msovercomer,

I'm sorry to hear that the neuropathy is getting worse. I thought I'd mention the Neuropathy group on Connect, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/neuropathy/ where members have shared their experiences, suggestions, and insights, about neuropathy – you will warmly welcomed. I encourage you to go through some of the the discussions in this group, join in wherever you feel comfortable, or feel free to start a new discussion with your questions and concerns.

@msovercomer : While doing research on non-invasive, non-drug treatments for CIPN (chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy) I came upon a note on the Mayo Clinic regarding Caltrane (Scrambler) Treatment Therapy for neuropathic pain. There are only 125 providers around the country, but both Mayo and Johns Hopkins find it promising. I have my first appointment on Monday. (For most, it is ten days of treatment over two weeks.) Some insurance companies reimburse for it... some don't. You may want to check out the Caltranett.com website which also lists the providers. If you don't have problems with a pharmaceutical approach, some people respond well to Cymbalta.