Understanding Radiation Neuropathy: Leading Causes & Treatments

Radiation is a powerful tool used to effectively treat cancer by destroying cancer cells at the source; however, in some cases, radiation can damage nearby cells that are not cancerous, resulting in pain and discomfort. This phenomenon, known as radiation neuropathy, can significantly reduce the quality of life for patients after undergoing treatment for various types of cancer. Suppose you have recently undergone radiation therapy for cancer and are experiencing nerve pain or neuropathy symptoms, such as sharp or burning pain, tingling, weakness, or numbness in the affected area. In that case, you might be suffering from radiation neuropathy. While this can be debilitating, there are ways to find relief! Keep reading to learn more about the causes and common symptoms of radiation neuropathy and discover some treatment options. 

radiation neuropathy

What Causes Radiation Neuropathy?

To begin treating radiation neuropathy, learning more about the causes of this painful condition is essential. Radiation therapy is instrumental in the effective treatment of various types of cancer.

While it helps destroy cancerous cells, it can also affect noncancerous cells by releasing cytokines and inflammatory mediators from dead cancer cells. For some patients, this inflammatory reaction can cause fibrosis, atrophy, and ulceration of the tissues, including vessels and nerves, and can result in nerve damage. If you have recently undergone radiation therapy to treat medical conditions such as cancer and are now experiencing nerve pain, this could be a symptom of radiation neuropathy.

Symptoms of Radiation Neuropathy

Symptoms of radiation neuropathy can worsen gradually, especially when left untreated over time. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Sharp or burning pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Inability to feel hot or cold temperatures
  • Muscle weakness or loss of balance
  • Muscle twitching or cramping
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Feeling dizzy or faint
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Sweating issues
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Loss of reflexes
  • Paralysis
  • And more.

Radiation Neuropathy Treatment

If you are suffering from symptoms of radiation neuropathy, it might be time to contact the experts at Central Iowa Neuropathy. Our specialized neuropathy treatments use the body’s natural healing processes to relieve pain and restore normal nerve function. 

Here at Central Iowa Neuropathy, we provide access to a proprietary nerve pain treatment program that utilizes up to eight advanced technologies that have the potential to increase blood flow to the body’s nerves, reduce inflammation, and accelerate the healing process. To learn more about the treatments we offer for radiation neuropathy or to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team, contact us today!

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