David Ronis was diagnosed with cancer
six years ago. After his surgery he underwent a series of chemotherapy
treatments. The chemo caused some painful side effects. The symptoms for me were very
extreme sensitivity to cold in my hands and in my mouth. Other types of pain caused by
chemotherapy treatments can include tingling numbness and a burning
sensation a patient’s hands legs and Feet. Patients can experience this for
months to years beyond the completion of the chemotherapy. It influences their ability to function, itnfluences their quality of life. Doctor Ellen Lavoie Smith from the
University of Michigan School of Nursing and co-authors conducted a randomized
trial with more than 230 patients who were still experiencing
chemotherapy-related pain at least three months after their treatment ended. Patients were randomized to receive the
antidepressant drug duloxetine or A placebo for five weeks. When compared to
patients taking a placebo, the patients who received duloxetine had a greater improvement in their pain.
The study appears in JAMA Journal of the American Medical
Association. Duloxetine was effective in improving a patient’s ability to
perform their daily activities and that it was also helpful in improving quality of life for
patients. Researchers point out that duloxetine did not work for everyone.
There was 41 percent of patients who did not respond but for the
majority it is an effective treatment and this is great because to date there have been no studies that have
demonstrated that really anything works. David has completed his chemotherapy
treatments and says even though he had to deal with the pain from his
sensitivity to the cold it was worth it I felt that I was going to live and I
look forward to a healthy rest of my life. Catherine Dolfe, the JAMA Report.