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Ask Dr. Gott 8/21
Breast-cancer treatment causes numbness in feet
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    DEAR DR. GOTT: My wife has had breast cancer for two years. She had a lumpectomy on her right breast, followed by chemotherapy and radiation.
    The only problem she has had since her treatment is burning and numbness in her feet and legs. I might add she is on her feet eight hours a day as a cashier. She never had these problems prior to her cancer. Her doctors don't think it is neuropathy. We do have a couple of nerve centers in our area, but we would like your recommendation as to the right physician to see for pain relief.
    DEAR READER: Unfortunately, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women. The good news is that it can be cured if discovered in its early stages.
    Warning signs include breast lumps, thickening or swelling, skin dimpling, nipple retraction or discharge. Any changes in an otherwise normal breast should be reported to a primary-care physician or gynecologist for prompt follow-up.
    Chemotherapy is often coupled with radiation for treatment of breast cancer. Chemo refers to the use of a number of anticancer drugs used to kill cancer cells, while radiation therapy is an extremely effective, targeted means of destroying cancer cells that can linger after surgery. Radiation can reduce the incidence of recurrence by more than 65 percent.
    Side effects of chemo can include nausea, vomiting, hair loss, weight gain, a reduced resistance to infection, loss of appetite and more depending on the type used. Radiation side effects include armpit discomfort, heart and lung problems, fatigue and skin sensitivity. On the bright side, the effects of radiation typically vanish within a few weeks following final treatment. Each form of therapy will affect different women in different ways, so it will not be easy for a physician to state precisely what a woman with breast cancer will experience.
    This brings me to some unanswered questions. When did your wife complete her chemo/radiation therapy? If it has been within a couple of months, her symptoms of numb feet and legs could improve. If, however, she had treatment two years ago, we will have to look elsewhere.
    If your wife's doctor doesn't believe the pain is neuropathy, it will do no harm to visit a pain clinic for an opinion. Ask her physician for a referral.

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I've had Restless Legs Syndrome for almost four years. After many medications failed, my wife bought Bigeloil gel, a veterinary aid, from our local co-op. When I use it, the jerking stops immediately. It's good for minor arthritis and sore muscles, too.
    DEAR READER: This is one product I've never heard of, but I am passing along the information.
    Other aids for pain include Castiva, which contains capsaicin and is a topical ointment for arthritis relief; topical castor oil; Hawthorne berry; omega-3 oil; and 8 ounces purple grape juice mixed with 1 tablespoon pectin. Thank you for your tip.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "Dr. Gott's Compelling Home Remedies."
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