ZBC appreciates the insights and wisdom shared by our panelists and the webinar audience who wrote in with questions and advice. Unfortunately, several people reported that healthcare providers don’t listen or do anything about their reports of neuropathy pain. Panelists all said that it is necessary to keep communicating with healthcare providers; at least one person changed healthcare systems. It may help to share the ZBC neuropathy factsheet with a provider.
Survivors are also encouraged to share their neuropathy tips and successes with each other in hopes that it will help someone else. Following is a summary of the responses provided by the panelists and participants on our webinar, with some extra questions answered.
- Survivor Deborah found that duloxetine stopped her symptoms from getting worse
- A webinar participant uses gabapentin
- Survivor Regina did not get relief from any of the medications prescribed
- For information about dosage and potential interactions with drugs, check out this database. Unfortunately, supplements are not regulated in the U.S.
- Turmeric (curcumin):
- Black pepper helps the body absorb turmeric
- Regina’s doctor recommended she get Turmeric Platinum Bioperine 1300 mg (Science Natural Supplements, Bioperine is a black pepper extract)
- Oncology nurse practitioner Eva Meyers recommends using turmeric as a spice in food; she adds it to coffee, veggies, noodles, everything
- Donald Abrams, MD of UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine recommends turmeric supplements
- Deborah takes vitamin B6 (note: either too little or too much vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, can cause neuropathy)
- A webinar participant takes B12
- Eva noted that research is still unclear about the role of vitamin D or B vitamins in neuropathy
Topical medicines (non-prescription):
- Deborah uses peppermint lotion (Dr. Bonner’s) on her feet for blood flow
- Regina uses CM Complex Cream (Nikken)
- Deborah also uses a rubbing oil with frankincense and myrrh
- A webinar participant found that Topricin Cream decreases the sharp pain
- Researcher Alyce Adams noted that we have limited evidence because of long-standing legal restrictions on research and use.
- Some people report that cannabis products help with pain and/or sleep
- Dr. Abrams recommends that people who have had cancer avoid CBD (cannabidiol) and choose products with THC (presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium 2021)
- A participant asked about Sanexas, an electric cell signaling treatment; no good evidence about whether it is effective was found in a short scientific literature review
- There is some (limited) evidence of benefit from TENS (transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation)
Links shared during the webinar:
- View pannelists' bios and slides
- Get ZBC’s emails
- Download ZBC Survivorship Factsheets on Neuropathy and Memory & Thinking Problems
- Request printed ZBC materials for your community
- View ZBC’s 2022 Advancing Health Equity in Breast Cancer Webinar Series
- NIH Peripheral Neuropathy Factsheet
- Stanford University Community Outreach and Engagement
- The AGING Initiative