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Sweeney CW
Understanding peripheral neuropathy in patients with cancer: background and patient assessment
Clin J Oncol Nurs (2002) 6:163-6.
PN is a troublesome symptom that frequently occurs in patients with cancer and is associated with certain neurotoxic chemotherapeutic agents. By understanding the basic principles of PN and recognizing the potential toxicities of specific chemotherapy drugs, nurses can take an active role in minimizing their occurrence. Nursing assessment is critical to early identification of toxicities and successful intervention. Nurses need to educate their patients regarding potential drug side effects and review safety issues that may put them at risk for injury. Patients need to be instructed to report symptoms of PN to their nurses and physicians. Healthcare professionals, in turn, need to assess neurologic function on a routine basis, monitor those at risk, and intervene when appropriate. Ultimately, PN can be recognized as a significant symptom, such as pain or fatigue. Current treatment options include both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic therapies, and the success of the treatment often depends on the cause. Research is needed to find better and more effective therapies for PN. The Neuropathy Association is a national organization that offers patients with PN the chance to contact others to share experiences and information to help them to cope with symptoms, increase public awareness of the problem, and promote the development of better therapies. This organization provides a newsletter, information booklets, and activities for members and can be contacted at 800-247-6968 or
Publication Date: 2002-05-01.
Last updated on Saturday, July 04, 2020