Side Effects - Peripheral Neuropathy

Side Effects – Peripheral Neuropathy

Table of contents

Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is the result of damage to peripheral neurons caused by a chemotherapeutic agent.


  • Tingling, burning, weakness or numbness in the hands or feet.
  • Difficulty walking or pain while walking.
  • Weak, sensitive, tired muscles with painful twinges.
  • Loss of balance, clumsiness.
  • Difficulty picking up objects and buttoning clothes.
  • Tremors.
  • Jaw pain.
  • Hearing loss, tinnitus.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Constipation. 


Inform the treatment team if one or more symptoms appear, as an adjustment in the chemotherapy dose, a change in medication or initiation of a special treatment or monitoring may prove necessary. The damage sometimes does not disappear completely. 

Helpful hints

  • Check for the presence of numb patches in the hands or feet, every day.
  • Exercise caution when handling sharp, hot, cold or dangerous objects.
  • At home, keep passageways clear and remove carpets and rugs you could trip on.
  • If muscle strength or balance is reduced, move slowly and use handrails.
  • If you feel dizzy, take the time to check your balance before getting up.
  • Use a rubber mat in the tub or shower.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • Avoid very hot or very cold water and, if necessary, consider turning down the thermostat on the water heater.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol, as it may worsen symptoms.
  • Maintain adequate hydration and a high fiber diet.
  • Ensure that your home temperature remains temperate, because extreme heat or cold could worsen symptoms.
  • Consult a physical or occupational therapist if technical assistance (cane, walker), an exercise program or adapted equipment is required.

Videos (in French only)

Primary cancers treated by immunotherapy

Prostate cancer

Breast cancer

Getting ready

Side effects of the primary immunotherapy treatments​

Testicular cancer