Q. Is it advisable to take IVIg injection for neurological problems due to radiation therapy for breast cancer?

Answered by
Dr. Ajay Panwar
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 08, 2021

Hi doctor,

My mother is suffering from primary breast cancer, and she has brain metastasis. We are taking treatment for the last three years. She underwent so many chemotherapies, radiation, body and brain radiation, surgery, etc. Presently my mother is taking Herceptin and Halaven medicines.

My mother's problems are: she cannot stand for more than a minute and unable to walk properly. She is also unable to get up from the floor when she sits on the floor. I have consulted a neurologist here. He recommended for neuro condition test. Please see the attached report. He told all the nervous system got damaged because of the chemo medicines. He has written some tablets on the prescription.

He asked for us to admit to the hospital, and he said that he would give some injection for three days, which will recover fast and it will be good. But it would be costly. If we cannot afford that much, he can prescribe us an affordable injection. Please suggest shall we take the injections or not. If so, which one is better. Please give the correct decision whether to take the injections or not. Or tablets is enough. Kindly recommend the tablets and injections, which are very good, so that she can recover quickly.



Welcome to

I have gone through your mother's NCS report, which mentions symmetric sensorimotor radiculoneuropathy (attachment removed to protect patient identity).

To be straight, if it is due to radiation and chemotherapy, then IVIg is unlikely to help that much. On the other hand, if etiology is something else like CIDP (of which there is a lesser chance), IVIg is likely to help.

So, in a nutshell, if affordability is not an issue for you, IVIg may be considered. Alternatively, you may visit a center capable of doing plasmapheresis. Plasmapheresis is a very reasonable option and as good as IVIg. Every metro city is having centers capable of doing plasmapheresis, even some government hospitals. Further, I am not clear regarding what injections your treating doctor is referring to.

I hope this helps.

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