Killing cancer is challenging. The rapid growth and spread of tumors necessitates the use of every tool available in modern medicine, and sometimes those tools can cause collateral damage. We are all familiar with the hair loss that can come with chemotherapy, the burns that sometimes follow radiation therapy treatments and the many aftereffects of invasive surgery, but there are other side effects that are less well known but equally debilitating and painful.
Side Effects of Chemotherapy
One of the lesser known peripheral damages that can be done by chemotherapy is known as hand-foot syndrome, or palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia. This very long name describes a painful condition that is caused by some chemotherapy drugs. Because the chemicals in these drugs specifically target fast growing cancer cells, they also can damage other fast-growing cells in the body, including skin cells and the small blood vessels found in the palms of the hands and on the feet.
Though the drugs may be doing wonderful work by damaging cancer cells, the damage that they do to the tissues of the feet can be extremely painful. Symptoms include redness and pain similar to a sunburn, swelling, tenderness, and thick calluses and blisters. The skin can crack, flake or peel and cancer patients may experience difficulty walking or using the hands.
Tips for Easing Side Effects from Chemotherapy
These symptoms are usually at their worst at the beginning of treatment, but can take as long as two or three months to appear. Treatment is usually provided through topical anti-inflammatory creams, and if your symptoms are very bad then your doctor may reduce your chemotherapy dose.
You can also take certain measures to minimize your discomfort, including keeping away from very hot water, taking cool showers and baths, using ice packs or cool compresses, and avoiding all sources of heat or friction. Products that contain harsh chemicals should be avoided, and the use of loose-fitting shoes is recommended.
Many cancer patients have found relief by wearing comfort socks. These are soft, comfortable socks that either provide some kind of therapy or are simply soothing by virtue of their texture. Here is a list of several popular choices.
Best Comfort Socks for Cancer Patients
- EmilyStores Moisturize Full Gel Socks
These gel socks have non-slip bottom to provide safety while walking and are made with a silicon gel that are particularly soothing for sore feet. Their natural moisturizing effect heals cracks and blisters, and by smoothing on lotion before putting the socks on the impact can be optimized.
- Dr. Comfort Socks for Men or Women
These socks were created with foot health in mind, and have proved helpful for patients suffering from all types of foot problems. They are made with nano bamboo charcoal fibers that promote blood circulation.
- Kissables Women’s Chenille Socks
These microfiber socks provide the ultimate in softness and comfort as well as the safety of a non-skid bottom. Available in attractive colors and a striped pattern.
- Haslra Microfiber Soft, Fuzzy Socks for Women
Warm, soft and comfortable, these microfiber socks come in a wide array of cheerful patterns and colors.
- Gilbin Fuzzy Anti-Slip Socks for Men
These soft, comfortable socks are available in mens’ and womens’ sizes and a wide array of colors.