Will icing the hands and feet during a Taxol infusion minimize the side effect of peripheral neuropathy?
We recently received this question from a community member; please let us know your thoughts:
We have a patient at our practice who read that soaking hands and feet in ice during chemotherapy (Taxol) can prevent peripheral neuropathy from occurring related to the treatment.
The patient did this starting with her first Taxol treatment. After a little while, she developed a local reaction, which was attributed to the Taxol. (Hands and feet itching and red.) It did get better after administering solumedrol. The patient was able to finish her dose of Taxol.
The next treatment with Taxol, the patient again soaked her hands and feet in ice. Despite additional premeds, the patient developed the same local reaction. It did resolve after additional solumedrol. The MD decided that it would be best not to rechallenge the patient in fear that the reaction may get worse. The patient is now on Abraxane, and we suggested that for at least the first treatment we not use ice on her hands and feet and see how she does. The patient did fine.
We have been researching if it is indeed recommended to ice hands and feet to prevent or help peripheral neuropathy. We have only found forums from patients stating that this is what they are doing during their treatment. We have not been able to locate any evidence-based practice stating that this will help or hinder.
Can you point us in the right direction?
Please weigh in and let us know of any evidence out there that this type of practice is a help or a hindrance for our cancer patients receiving Taxol.
Ashley Leak, PhD, RN, geriatric oncology nurse, Cancer Care Quality Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of Nursing at UNC Chapel Hill, explains the reasons she enjoyed attending the ONS Annual Congress meeting.
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