Wednesday, June 6, 2012

ASCO Tuesday- Patient Care

As the meeting came to a close I attended a session called
Cancer : Getting on your Nerves

There were speakers on peripheral neuropathy  and depression
In a nutshell:

  1. Duloxetine  was found to reduce the pain and tingling from peripheral neuropathy in cancer survivors in a phase III trial. 59% had a response and another 33% had a decrease in their pain score. (Smith - CRA9013)
  2. Falls are common in patients with peripheral neuropathy. 12% in the study of 461 survivors reported falls, 60% physical limitations  and 25% reported functional losses due to peripheral neuropathy.(Mohile- 9014)
  3. There is a machine called the Scrambler (approved Feb 9,2012) which sends impulses to areas of neuropathy and helps retrain the brain to normal. (Loprinzi)
  4. There is an increased risk of suicide in young adult cancer patients compared to older patients. Risk was reduced when the patient had a better alliance ( relationship) with their oncologist.(Trevino-9015) 
  5. Surveys of patients and physicians showed a prevalence of depression in cancer patients. Patients reported feeling sad, feeling distressed and having mood changes. (Manola -9016)
After the talks I was able to speak to Dr Mohile. I thanked her for her research on falling due to neuropathy. I know many OC survivors who have mentioned to me how they seem to trip and stumble more since having treatment and experiencing the neuropathy. This might be anecdotal evidence so I was pleased to see a study done in this area. I asked Dr Mohile  if her patients find that the numbness may be constant but the pain can intensify and then decrease. She told me that it is very common for that to occur with the Carbo Taxol treatments that we have received. 

Next post - ASCO in Manageable Pieces

Every Day is a Blessing!   

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