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Managing Peripheral Neuropathy With Dr. Dana Cardinas
Episode 15711th August 2020 • WE Have Cancer • Lee Silverstein
00:00:00 00:38:03

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Dr. Dana Cardinas joins us on the WE Have Cancer podcast this week. She shares her personal experience with peripheral neuropathy and Stage 3c colon cancer, and how that’s given her a new mission in life.

Dana went from having a successful podiatry practice to being forced to retire due to neuropathy that eventually led to her colon cancer diagnosis. With her medical knowledge and personal experiences, Dana has turned to help others better manage their peripheral neuropathy with some not-so-well-known tips and treatment options.

Guest biography:

Dr. Dana Cardinas started her journey as a well-respected and successful podiatrist before being diagnosed with neuropathy, paraneoplastic syndrome, and stage-3c colon cancer. Now healthy, Dana is looking to bring her experience, both personally and as a doctor, to others dealing with peripheral neuropathy from cancer treatments. 

Table of contents:

  • Passing of Sarah Debord

Lee shares about the passing of Sarah and talks about her importance to the show and himself.

  • Introduction of Dr. Dana Cardinas

Lee introduces Dana and a bit about her story, including having Lynch Syndrome during her battle with Stage-3c colon cancer.

  • Dana’s neuropathy diagnosis

Dana had gone from a thriving podiatry practice to being forced to retire after being diagnosed with Ulnar neuropathy.

  • Cancer symptoms, tests, and colon cancer diagnosis

Dana recalls the first symptoms she noticed. From some simple bloating to pain, Dana brushed aside some early concerns before eventually being tested and diagnosed with colon cancer. 

  • Post-surgery: FOLFOX and peripheral neuropathy

Following successful surgery, Dana and her oncologist talked about FOLFOX and it’s side effects, which include peripheral neuropathy. That led Dana down the path of another diagnosis, Paraneoplastic syndrome; which impacted her treatment.

  • Paraneoplastic syndrome and its impact on treatment

With the diagnosis of paraneoplastic syndrome, Dana’s treatment options changed due to fears of how the FOLFOX was furthering her already-present peripheral neuropathy condition at a rapid rate.

  • Dana’s current health status

Though Dana feels great now, she still has the lingering peripheral neuropathy side effect. She talks about managing and improving her peripheral neuropathy and how that’s turned into her new mission.

  • The impact of it all and how spirituality gave her the energy to continue

Dana’s journey is one of extremes. She went from being a successful doctor to being retired, battling cancer, and dealing with peripheral neuropathy all at the same time. She talks about how her spirituality helped carry her through it all.

  • Why podiatry?

Dana talks about why she went into podiatry as a profession.

  • Helping others dealing with peripheral neuropathy

Dana shares some of the most recent ways doctors are learning to battle peripheral neuropathy from FOLFOX injections, including using ice and the cold to limit the side effects.

  • Why does neuropathy happen from treatment?

Dana breaks down how FOLFOX and other drugs cause peripheral neuropathy in the body from a scientific standpoint. She also explains how neuropathy can feel worse at the end of treatment.

  • Finding neuropathy relief through more traditional treatments

Those that are battling neuropathy have a few different tricks up their sleeves to help them feel better. Dana talks about a few of the tips and tricks she’s learned over the years, including how to combine different things to find the right treatment options.

  • What’s next?

Through the ColonTown community LiveWire, Dana has now turned her attention to helping others get in front of and better manage their neuropathy from cancer treatment.

  • What cancers include treatment options that cause peripheral neuropathy?

Dana talks about the different types of cancer that have chemotherapy protocols that can cause neuropathy so people know what to look out for ahead of time.

Links mentioned in the show:

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Man Up To Cancer Podcast


ColonTown - LiveWire community

Dana's blog

Nerve glide exercise video

ASCO abstract: "Patient initiated approach to prevent oxaliplatin induced peripheral neuropathy: A social media experiment"

Know someone touched by cancer who has an inspiring story? Email Lee