This study found that not only did CIPN increase fall risk, but that CPIN-related falls were associated with increased utilization of health care resources.4 A 2017 study in Journal of Clinical Oncology examining prevalence of CIPN in 512 female cancer survivors found that almost 50% still experienced symptoms up to six years post-treatment with symptomatic survivors being almost twice as likely to fall when compared to asymptomatic counterparts.5 With a $30,000+ average cost per fall injury, these numbers can have a substantial impact on both patient quality of life and health care cost burden.6
CIPN may cause disruptions in medical treatment schedule, including dose reductions or early discontinuation, thus potentially compromising patient outcomes. A 2018 study found that CIPN can influence the course treatment, making it “necessary to lower the chemotherapy dose, delay or even stop the cancer treatment.7
A 2018 phase III randomized control trial found that exercise appears to reduce CIPN symptoms in patients receiving taxane-, platinum-, or vinca alkaloid-based chemotherapy. The authors concluded “clinicians should consider prescribing exercise for these patients.”
For the 355 cancer patients, exercise significantly reduced CIPN symptoms of hot/coldness in hands/feet (-0.46 units, p = 0.045), and numbness and tingling (- 0.42 units, p = 0.061) compared to the control. The results were strongest among an older population.8
- In another study, 50 breast cancer survivors who were experiencing chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy were given a 10-week home-based exercise program. Participants were asked to complete the McGill QOL questionnaire and the Leeds Assessment of Neuropathic Symptoms and Signs before and after the exercise program. Following 10-weeks of exercise, participants reported experiencing less of the following symptoms: unpleasant skin sensations, abnormally sensitive to touch, and coming on suddenly in bursts for no apparent reason (Post-HBEx, N=3, 1, and 4 respectively; P=0.05).9
- In a general review of literature that examined the effect of strength and balance training for adults with diabetic peripheral neuropathy and high risk fall, the authors concluded that “the reviewed studies provide substantial evidence to support the use of strength and balance training for older adults at risk for falls, and detail early evidence to support strength and balance training for individuals with peripheral neuropathy."10
Learn more about how the ReVital Cancer Rehabilitation program can help improve patient outcomes, facilitate improved compliance with chemotherapy and reduce treatment costs.