Numbness in Hands & Feet

Hi All,
Just had No. 5 FEC today and hands are very numb. Feet a little numb - I have never had this before and the only thread on the archive relating to it, concerns Taxotare not FEC.

Anyone had this before - anything I can do to help?


I had FEC earlier this year and found my finger tips got quite numb/sore and hands generally lacking strength and had to get a thing for opening jars etc. It cleared up once the FEC stopped, now on taxotere so waiting for it to happen again :frowning:

Love Twinkle xoxo

It’s peripheral neuropathy and lots of different chemos can cause it. I’m afraid there isn’t really any treatment, you just have to wait till you finish chemo then it will gradually get better.

Be careful with things like bath water - if you’re feeling numb you won’t know if the water is too hot. On the days when my hands were really weak I made my husband do the cooking and washing up so I didn’t have to lift heavy pans.

It is now 3 months since my last chemo[tax after fec]and my feet are very numb and my fingers a little less so.I have lost a big toe nail and other is loose.Onc says fingers should recover completely within 1 year and feet within 3yrs but it could be a lot less.I also get very swollen feet which doc says is cos of neuropathy.I can live with it but it means I find it uncomfortable to walk any distance.Does anyone know anything to help symptoms?lol horace

Hi Girls

A week yesterday I had my second paclitaxel & gemcitabine, and my fingers and toes have been quite numb and tingly since. I had to sign for a parcel yesterday which was a mission in itself, and I keep hitting the wrong keys on this bloomin keyboard ! Don’t know what else we can do but “ride through it” really !

Have a good weekend in the sunshine Girls !

Love to all

Julie xx

Thanks for your responses…it is always good to know that these symptoms are quite normal as it puts the mind at rest.

Extra thanks to Silverlady - am going to make other half do everything…


I must confess to feeling a little disturbed by your posts above. I know most of my chemos were a few years ago now but 3 different ones had this problem of peripheral neuropathy as side effects. In those days the Consultants at the Royal Marsden treated this pretty seriously and we had to let them know ‘as soon’ as it occurred and the dose of chemo was lowered. We were not told 1-3 years recovery but that it could become irreversible. I think you should certainly question your oncologists a little more closely on this one.


Hi All

I had numbness in both arms one day this week, when I woke up. I couldn’t hold a glass or water even with both hands and I was quite upset by it. Having read Dawnhc’s note above I intend to definitely mention this when I next go to the hospital

Cecelia. x

My numbness has eased - two days after chemo…However, I am going to phone the nurses tomorrow in view of Dawn’s post. Again girls many thanks for your help…

Love to you all.

I found that problems with peripheral neuropathy increased over time, it wasn’t for the odd day. I can remember the first chemo that caused it was ECF Epirubicin, Carboplatin & Fluorouracil (this is not the same as FEC). I was trying to be very brave and not make a fuss about the strange tingling in the fingers and earned myself a ticking off from the onocologist!! This side effect was one that we were told they should be made aware of sooner rather than later. In those days (and I am talking of 10 years ago) it was treated with quite high doses of Piridoxin - Vit B6 but I am not sure that is used now. I also had problems on Taxotere and although the drug was reduced I reached a point when my feet were so painful I couldnt walk! Later I had the same problem with Xeloda (Capecitabine) and because of my previous experiences I was taken off the drug completely. There is always a danger in telling of my experiences a few years ago because treatments do change - but in my opinion this is still a serious side effect. I know we are dealing with a life-threatening disease and the treatments can be drastic but surely there has to be a balance somewhere that prevents long term serious damage to our bodies from these drugs.

hello everybody, I agree with Dawnb as my sister has just finished chemo and the oncologist told her if she had any pins and needles or numbness, she had to inform him so that her chemo dose could be adjusted accordingly x

Too late for me its over and I have the neuropathy all the time.I was asked and did report it during chemo but because it was only tips of fingers and toes dose was left.I have found it has worsened after chemo finished so have no choice but to put up with it as there is apparently no treatment.Fortunately it doesnt interfere too much with my life I just wish I could walk further.I hope it does get better though.Valx

Hi to everyone, just to say that the numbness in feet and hands has now gone I finished chemo on the 1st of May. I know it could last for a lot longer so consider myself lucky. Love to all who supported me through the bleak days when on chemo and good luck to those just starting or still on it. You will do it. !! Love Eileen