Peripheral neuropathy in cancer survivors

Shock news! Cancer survivors are telling the truth when they say they can’t feel their feet!
A recent study of women cancer survivors found that 45% had peripheral neuropathy (PN) symptoms years after completing cancer treatment.
PN means loss of feeling in hands and feet, worse mobility, difficulties in activities like cooking and shopping and a nearly two-fold higher risk of falls – which can mean fractures and, as they cheerfully report, even death. It happens after some of the chemotherapy regimes.

It’s great that the professionals noticed.

But when I looked at the abstract, what the study is really reporting is that the women who TOLD the researchers that they had neuropathy REALLY DID have effects on some key functions.

I’ve got neuropathy symptoms myself (with my MS) so I know how challenging they can be. I don’t need a battery of fancy tests to tell me that – and I’m guessing the cancer survivors didnt need them either.
If you don’t yourself ever fall in the street, I’m happy for you.
But try for a small moment to imagine what it feels like hitting the pavement with a BIG BANG. Getting dirty and bloody. Having well-intentioned people asking if you’re OK (er, think for a moment … probably that’s NO, I JUST FELL OVER … but you always say yes). Some even more well-intentioned people dragging you to your feet, when all you want is a little sit-down til your brain reconnects to your body. Having to find your shoes from wherever they are now, and looking at the holes in your (sadly, not replaced on the NHS) trousers. My most painful but least bloody fall, I landed on my right breast. I’m tall and I was running, so that was like a small car accident happening to my poor breast. Not ideal!
The women in the study were an average of six years after their cancer diagnosis.
So that’s six years of falling and nearly falling and working out how best not to fall.
As I said, it’s great that the professionals noticed.
What the women ALREADY KNEW!
The authors of the study go on to argue that “commonly recommended exercise, such as walking, may be safer for women with peripheral neuropathy when done on a treadmill with handrails instead of outdoors because their altered gait puts them at increased risk of falling”.
Are treadmills going to be installed on suddenly-indoors pavements?
Or do they just want all these women to STAY QUIETLY AT HOME?

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