2. Who is affected?
Neuropathy is classified by types, which are named based on the specific nerves that are affected. Neuropathy, in general, affects about one to two percent of Americans. The most common type of neuropathy among cancer survivors is peripheral neuropathy.
It is estimated that 10–20 percent of cancer patients experience some form of peripheral neuropathy. Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN) is a possible side-effect of chemotherapy and affects about 30–40 percent of cancer patients treated with chemotherapy. Ask your health care team about the short and long-term effects of chemotherapy you have received. Specifically, cancer types associated with higher risk include: lung, breast, ovarian, myeloma, lymphoma and Hodgkin’s disease and testicular. Certain factors about the diagnosis and treatments may also heighten risk, such as tumor location, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, and other cancer related disorders.
Other life factors and certain medication may also increase the risk of neuropathy, such as excessive use of alcohol and old age. Learn more about these factors here.