Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy refers to neurologic dysfunction that occurs outside of the brain and spinal cord. Patients with cancer are at risk for peripheral neuropathy caused by cancer, treatment, or both. Solid tumors can cause neuropathic symptoms and pain by pressing on local nerves. Chemotherapeutic agents that can cause peripheral neuropathy include epothilones, platinum analogs, taxanes, and vinca alkaloids. Among patients treated with anticancer therapies known to increase the risk of peripheral neuropathy, 10%–100% will develop the condition.

According to the research, peripheral neuropathy can cause pain and other sensory symptoms as well as patient safety concerns because of changes in dexterity, gait and balance problems, weakness, proprioception, and loss of some motor skills.

This topic was updated on May 10, 2017. Learn more about these updates.

2017–2019 Authors
Cindy S. Tofthagen, PhD, ARNP, AOCNP®, FAANP, FAAN, Hannah Collins, ANP-BC, AOCNP®, Colleen H. Erb, MSN, CRNP, ACNP-BC, AOCNP®, Grace Kanzawa-Lee, BSN, RN, and Sylvia K. Wood, DNP, APRN, ANP-BC, AOCNP®
ONS Staff: Margaret M. Irwin, PhD, RN, MN, Christine M. Maloney, BA, Kerri A. Moriarty, MLS, and Mark Vrabel, MLS, AHIP, ELS
 
20072016 Authors
Linda I. Abbott, RN, MSN, AOCN®, CWON, Julie A. Aschenbrenner, RN, OCN®, Dawn Camp-Sorrell, RN, MSN, FNP, AOCN®, Mary L. Collins, RN, MSN, OCN®, Colleen H. Erb, MSN, CRNP, ACNP-BC, AOCNP®, Connie Hart, RN, BSN, OCN®, Grace Kanzawa-Lee, BSN, RN, Emily K. Olson, RN, MSN, OCN®, Cindy S. Tofthagen, PhD, ARNP, AOCNP®, FAANP, Constance Visovsky, RN, PhD, ACNP, and Sylvia K. Wood, DNP, APRN, ANP-BC, AOCNP®
ONS Staff: Kristen Baileys, RN, MSN, CRNP, AOCNP®, Heather Belansky, RN, MSN, Margaret M. Irwin, PhD, RN, MN, Christine M. Maloney, BA, Kerri A. Moriarty, MLS, and Mark Vrabel, MLS, AHIP, ELS

ONS Symptom Interventions

Get evidence-based interventions for quality patient care and teaching.

View All Symptom Interventions

Related Topics