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Radiation & Neuropathy (Nerve Damage)
A side effect of cancer treatments

What is it?  What can be done for relief. 

Oncology machines used in radiation treatmentRadiology is defined as the use of radiation and imaging technology to diagnose and treat disease. 

CT scans, X-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds, and bone scans all fall into the category of radiology.  Supposedly, these types of radiology does not hurt the nerves, however, it is believed by many physicians that CT scans can cause nerve damage. 

Cancer Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy, also called radiation oncology, or radiotherapy and by the abbreviations XRT and DXT.  

It is ionizing radiation which works by damaging the DNA of exposed tissue leading to cellular death. During cancer radiation therapy, the machine is using high energy beams and the body is exposed to high levels of radiation.   These high levels of radiation are meant to damage cancer cells eventually destroying them - unfortunately - both healthy and cancerous cells get destroyed.

These radiation treatments can injure the nerves.  The effects of this can be delayed for many years.  Radiation close to a nerve can increase the chances of damage.

Symptoms of Radiation Induced Nerve Damage

When just the ends of nerves (the "periphery") are affected, this is called peripheral neuropathy. Damaged sensory nerves do not accurately "sense" heat, cold, pressure, pain and body position.   When these nerve endings are damaged, a burning sensation is often experienced. 

Damaged motor nerves do not accurately tell muscles to contract and move.  This is sometimes referred to as muscle/nerve damage.  In these situations, the motor nerve is damaged which can lead to the muscles being weak or non-responsive.  It can make the person off balance.  Situations like this can start a year after the treatment is stopped. Inability to walk is often reported. 

The nerve damage from radiation can cause facial drooping, loss of hearing, erectile dysfunction, infertility, and pain as well as mobility issues. It can also cause 'drop foot' a leg became weaker so that it can only lifted and inch or so off the floor. 

Nerve damage can happen anywhere in the body and the types of problems will come from the nerves that are damaged.

What can be done to get relief from nerve damage?   

For more information and treatments for Neuropathy 


What can be done for relief?

We always recommend you take the approach of building health - and nerves are no different. 

Find out how to build healthy nerves



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