Cryotherapy to Prevent Neuropathy (Icing hands and feet and sucking on ice chips)

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vincent33
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:11 pm
Facebook Username: Vincent Smith

Cryotherapy to Prevent Neuropathy (Icing hands and feet and sucking on ice chips)

Postby vincent33 » Sun Mar 15, 2020 12:35 pm

I'm new to this board so I don't know if icing while receiving oxaliplatin has already been discussed.

I was very concerned about neuropathy and did some searching and found some youtube videos about people using ice during their infusions. The theory is that the icing slows or restricts the blood flow and therefore less chemo is going to those parts that are iced.

This video explains it and there are others if you search around:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0OYhfDucD8

I also found a group on facebook called colontown, and a subgroup called livewire and many are successfully using icing to prevent or at least slow down the process of getting neuropathy.

My personal experience:

My first infusion I told the nurses what I intended and they were interested and said they were prepared for me with bags of ice. I found that their supply was inadequate so I only was able to ice for about 70 minutes of my 2 hour infusion. Afterwards I had no notable side effects except fatigue and a little nausea, but I supposed that might simply be due to the fact that this was my first infusion.

At my appointment with my doctor before my second infusion I told her that I intended to ice during my infusion. She was very negative about the idea and said I could have cold resistance during the infusion and that she didn't recommend it, so even though this time I came well prepared with a chest of ice, I decided not to do it. Afterwards, however, I had some very strong side effects. Numbness in several fingers. Numbness in the soles of my feet so that I felt as if I were not touching the ground when I walked. And very strong "first bite pain." These effects lasted about 4 days.

My third infusion I decided to ice. I sucked on ice chips the entire time. I had a basin with ice for my feet. I kept my socks on and inserted my feet in plastic bags to keep them dry. I kept a bag of ice in my hands and rolled it around. When I felt that my feet or hands were getting too cold, I took a little break. Afterwards, I had NO numbness in my feet or hands. I did have a little of the first-bite pain, but not nearly as severe as previously and it only lasted for a short time. I also had a little of the sensation of something in my throat like ice, but that only lasted a day or two. I had no cold resistance. I took things out of the freezer with no problem.

I was disappointed that my oncologist discouraged me, but also am happy that happened because now I can clearly see the difference and how effective icing is.
January 2019, pain in abdomen that I thought was muscular or nerve related persisted many months
November 2019, CT scan revealed large mass in colon
December 10, 2019, surgery, right hemicolectomy, 8cm t4b tumor removed, margins clear, 47 negative nodes removed, 1 positive node removed
February and March 2020, beginning week 8 after surgery have received 3 folfox infusions every 2 weeks
have been applying ice to hands and feet during infusions

Siti
Posts: 155
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:58 am

Re: Cryotherapy to Prevent Neuropathy (Icing hands and feet and sucking on ice chips)

Postby Siti » Mon Mar 16, 2020 2:51 am

I’ve seen a women in our hospital using cooling cap to reduce hair loss. So it should theoretically work the same way. However there are some people who think that it prevents chemo from reaching stray cancer around the head if any. I guess it depends what stage you’re in.
Wife of DH (54) DX on 5/7/19
CEA value: 1.2
T loc: Sigmoid
T type: Adenocarcinoma
T grade: G3
Pos LNs: 30/31
Wild Type for KRAS, NRAS and BRAF
19/7/19 PET-CT Scan: Distant lymph nodes (para-aorta, neck & hip), est. size 0.5-1.5cm.
22/7/19 Surgery: Laparoscopic Colon Resection
26/8/19 Chemo: CAPEOX + Avastin x 9
6/11/19 CT Scan after 3rd cycle, all nodes have shrunk! Yay!!

jts
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:07 pm

Re: Cryotherapy to Prevent Neuropathy (Icing hands and feet and sucking on ice chips)

Postby jts » Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:51 am

I'm on round five of FOLFOX and have also been icing my hands and feet, and usually sucking on ice chips during the oxialiplatin infusions. Here's my anecdotal experience so far.

The main side effect of the icing is that my hands and feet get cold. I try to get them cold enough that they are a little numb. I don't really mind that feeling.

I haven't had much/any cold sensitivity in my hands or feet. I often have hand and foot cramps in the week after the infusion, and lately some tingling in my fingertips in the days after the infusion. The bigger side effect is that my hands get red and swollen and painful and my skin gets extremely dry and peely in the days after the 5FU pump comes off. This seems mode like the hand-foot side effect of 5FU. It's really hard to tell if there's any neuropathy with all that noise.

I do have cold sensitivity in my mouth, throat, and face. I find that sucking ice chips makes a big difference there. In cycles where I sucked on ice chips, the cold sensitivity only hits in the back of my throat. I can't take big gulps of cold things or I gag, but I can eat and chew cool foods, eat cereal with milk. Twice I've gone without the ice chips, and in those cases the cold sensitivity is all over my tongue as well. Just breathing the cold air tastes fizzy and metallic. I have to warm up whatever I eat, or just put up with the unpleasantness.

So my anecdotal advice is to use ice. It definitely helps with the sensitivity in my mouth and throat, and is only a little inconvenience to do with my hands and feet. I don't intend to skip icing my hands and feet for the sake of science.
Male 42 — stage IIIc
DX starting 08/2019
6 cm long tumor, 5cm above anocutaneous line
Clinical: T3 N1 M0
09-10/2019 Chemo-radiation, Capecitabine
12/2019 TME Surgery, clear margins, 7/16 nodes positive
Pathology: ypT3 ypN2b M0
Jan-June 2020 - 12 rounds FOLFOX
CEA only goes up during chemo: 2.4 --> 5.4

vincent33
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:11 pm
Facebook Username: Vincent Smith

Re: Cryotherapy to Prevent Neuropathy (Icing hands and feet and sucking on ice chips)

Postby vincent33 » Mon Mar 16, 2020 10:31 am

That's very similar to my experience, jts. Except I don't have any problems with my skin when my pump is disconnected.

I see you are also a IIIC. I only had one bad node, but my tumor was a t4 and invaded my abdominal wall. May I ask what figures your oncologist gave you regarding odds of survival with and without chemo?
January 2019, pain in abdomen that I thought was muscular or nerve related persisted many months
November 2019, CT scan revealed large mass in colon
December 10, 2019, surgery, right hemicolectomy, 8cm t4b tumor removed, margins clear, 47 negative nodes removed, 1 positive node removed
February and March 2020, beginning week 8 after surgery have received 3 folfox infusions every 2 weeks
have been applying ice to hands and feet during infusions

User avatar
beach sunrise
Posts: 128
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:14 pm

Re: Cryotherapy to Prevent Neuropathy (Icing hands and feet and sucking on ice chips)

Postby beach sunrise » Mon Mar 16, 2020 10:40 am

I am going to do this also. Thanks!
Dx 8/19, RC, CEA 86, clinical T3N0M0
Neoadj 5FU/rad 6 wks
Surg 1-21-20 APR ostomy, neg margins T4bN1a IIIC G2 MSI- 1/20 LN+ LVI+ PNI-
presurg cea 24/post 5.9
Adj mFOLFOX6, cea 7
8 rds 6-10 CEA 11.4, 4 more no oxa
6-17: CEA 11.1 AFP 11.2 CA125 25.7 CA199 9
7-2: CEA 11.1 AFP 5.3 CA125 24.8 CA199 8
MHL1+
PMS2+
MSH2+
MSH6+
Chemo sensitivity test NCI "Test failed, neo-adj chemorad did its job. Not enough ca. cells to test."

jts
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:07 pm

Re: Cryotherapy to Prevent Neuropathy (Icing hands and feet and sucking on ice chips)

Postby jts » Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:47 am

vincent33 wrote:That's very similar to my experience, jts. Except I don't have any problems with my skin when my pump is disconnected.

I see you are also a IIIC. I only had one bad node, but my tumor was a t4 and invaded my abdominal wall. May I ask what figures your oncologist gave you regarding odds of survival with and without chemo?


The oncologists I talked to didn't really offer odds of survival. The most CRC-specialized oncologist I talked to cited the ADORE study as producing evidence that adjuvant FOLFOX is beneficial to stage III RC patients. The amount of benefit is higher the more advanced the cancer is. The main ADORE paper is not open-access, but if you want I can pm you a copy.

The most useful open-access paper I found about survival odds for rectal cancer patients was:
"Can the new American Joint Committee on Cancer staging system predict survival in rectal cancer patients treated with curative surgery following preoperative chemoradiotherapy?" by Moon et al.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22415662

Like the online prognosis computation tools it's based on the past stats of their hospitals. It breaks down statistics for all the different yp tumor staging. All this stuff was specific to rectal cancer, though. There's probably more data available for colon cancer.
Male 42 — stage IIIc
DX starting 08/2019
6 cm long tumor, 5cm above anocutaneous line
Clinical: T3 N1 M0
09-10/2019 Chemo-radiation, Capecitabine
12/2019 TME Surgery, clear margins, 7/16 nodes positive
Pathology: ypT3 ypN2b M0
Jan-June 2020 - 12 rounds FOLFOX
CEA only goes up during chemo: 2.4 --> 5.4

User avatar
beach sunrise
Posts: 128
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:14 pm

Re: Cryotherapy to Prevent Neuropathy (Icing hands and feet and sucking on ice chips)

Postby beach sunrise » Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:02 pm

Hi jts, I would like a copy of the ADORE paper also pretty please.
Dx 8/19, RC, CEA 86, clinical T3N0M0
Neoadj 5FU/rad 6 wks
Surg 1-21-20 APR ostomy, neg margins T4bN1a IIIC G2 MSI- 1/20 LN+ LVI+ PNI-
presurg cea 24/post 5.9
Adj mFOLFOX6, cea 7
8 rds 6-10 CEA 11.4, 4 more no oxa
6-17: CEA 11.1 AFP 11.2 CA125 25.7 CA199 9
7-2: CEA 11.1 AFP 5.3 CA125 24.8 CA199 8
MHL1+
PMS2+
MSH2+
MSH6+
Chemo sensitivity test NCI "Test failed, neo-adj chemorad did its job. Not enough ca. cells to test."

jts
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:07 pm

Re: Cryotherapy to Prevent Neuropathy (Icing hands and feet and sucking on ice chips)

Postby jts » Wed May 27, 2020 10:20 am

Like I wrote before, I'm doing 12 rounds of FOLFOX, and have been icing my hands and feet and sucking on ice chips during my oxaliplatin infusions.

I didn't have much or any cold sensitivity in my hands and feet. Only my face, mouth and throat. I also didn't notice any neuropathy until after round 8. Then it came pretty strong. My fingers, half my feet, and to some extent my whole legs got numb. I also had sensations of tickling around my eyes and cheeks and a sensation like a hand was pressing on my back next to my shoulder blade. Weird and annoying feelings.

So I talked to the oncologist and they cut on oxi from now on. I'm now between rounds 10 and 11. It's been 5 weeks since my last oxaliplatin infusion and the numbness in my fingers, feet and legs doesn't seem to change. The sensations in my face and back are gone. The cold sensitivity in my mouth is a little less, but cold water is still unpleasant to drink.

So my anecdotal conclusion about icing hands and feet is that it can spare you the cold sensitivity during treatment, but it doesn't let you outsmart the neuropathy. Hopefully I stopped it in time that this numbness goes away. It's pretty annoying. I drop things, accidentally cut my finger when wiping off a shaving razor, have trouble manipulating tiny things, and have to concentrate when I walk and run because I sort-of loose awareness of where my feet are.
Male 42 — stage IIIc
DX starting 08/2019
6 cm long tumor, 5cm above anocutaneous line
Clinical: T3 N1 M0
09-10/2019 Chemo-radiation, Capecitabine
12/2019 TME Surgery, clear margins, 7/16 nodes positive
Pathology: ypT3 ypN2b M0
Jan-June 2020 - 12 rounds FOLFOX
CEA only goes up during chemo: 2.4 --> 5.4


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