​​​​Neuropathy (sometimes called peripheral neuropathy) happens when nerves are not able to send or receive information. Neuropathy can happen during or shortly after receiving a treatment. It can last a few days or it can last longer than a year. Sometimes, damage to your nerves can happen months or years after treatment.

Neuropathy can cause symptoms such as:

  • Tingling
  • Burning
  • Weakness or numbness in your hands or feet
  • Loss of sensation of touch
  • Loss of balance or trouble walking



Sometimes chemotherapy medicine (and other health problems) can cause neuropathy. With chemotherapy, neuropathy is more likely to happen when you get higher doses. It is also more likely to happen if you get more than 1 dose.


What you can do

Tell your doctor if you notice any signs or symptoms of neuropathy. Write down the signs you noticed and when they started. Bring this list to your appointment. 


More information

  • Perry MC. The Chemotherapy Source Book. 4th edition. 2007. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. 
  • Wickham R. Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy: A Review and Implications for Oncology Nursing Practice. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing. 2007. Volume 11(3)361-376. 
  • Neuropathy (National Cancer Institute) [opens in new window]


Last reviewed: 1/4/2018
Last modified: 11/1/2023 6:31 AM
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