Understanding Hand and Foot Syndrome
- BBC Radio 1 DJ and bowel cancer warrior Adele Roberts, 43, said she’s “down to opening bottles with my mouth” due to hand and foot syndrome.
- Hand and foot syndrome (also called palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia) is a common side effect of some chemotherapy drugs.
- It can cause redness, swelling and blistering on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, and it tends to appear within the first two to three months of treatment.
Why? She’s suffering from hand and foot syndrome, which is a side effect of some chemotherapy drugs.Read More
Down to opening bottles with my mouth because of hand & foot syndrome. Don’t want to wake Kate up at stupid o’clock to help me 🙃 one week to go and then I start my final cycle of #chemotherapy 🎉 Cannot wait!
— Adele Roberts (@AdeleRoberts) April 26, 2022
Her tweet prompted a flood of responses congratulating Roberts, who’s from Southport, England, on almost being done with treatment. She announced last October that she had been diagnosed with bowel cancer.
Understanding Hand and Foot Syndrome
Hand and foot syndrome (also called palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia), as previously mentioned, is a common side effect of some chemotherapy drugs.
It can cause redness, swelling and blistering on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, and it tends to appear within the first two to three months of treatment.
“Only a handful of drugs tend to cause it,” according to MD Anderson Cancer Center, “but it’s still important to know about, so that symptoms can be addressed quickly.”
According to MD Anderson, treating hand and foot syndrome is largely based on symptom control. If there’s swelling or inflammation, topical steroid creams may be prescribed, or cancer treatment (like chemotherapy) may be postponed until symptoms improve. In some cases, the chemotherapy dosage is also adjusted to manage this side effect.
Several drugs may cause hand and foot syndrome, including:
- 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)
- capecitabine (Xeloda®)
- docetaxel (Taxotere®)
- cytarabine (Cytosar®)
- doxorubicin (Adriamycin®)
- liposomal doxorubicin (Doxil®)
Adele Roberts’ Bowel Cancer Diagnosis
Adele Roberts, who’s best known for appearances on United Kingdom shows Big Brother and I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in early October of last year. She found out about the disease after visiting her doctor for persistent digestive issues.
She had her tumor removed, but she now sports a colostomy bag, which is also called a stoma bag. This bag is a plastic container that attaches to the front of your belly and collects waste from the intestines through an opening in the abdominal wall.
She’s now undergoing chemotherapy to make sure all the cancer is gone. According to her Monday night tweet, she’s start her final chemotherapy treatment early next week.
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In an Instagram post announcing her diagnosis, Roberts warned her fans, “PLEASE make sure you get checked out if you have ANY concerns. The sooner you’re able to see your GP or talk to someone the sooner you can get help. If I hadn’t I might not be so lucky. As I’ve learned over the last few weeks, there’s no ‘normal’ with cancer. Sadly it can affect anyone, at any age, anytime. It doesn’t discriminate. Early detection can save your life.”
Earlier this year, Roberts did her first television interview since being diagnosed with cancer.
“It was a shock,” she said live on the air. “I didn’t realize I could get cancer, which I know sounds silly because I know now it can happen to anyone at any age.”
She spoke with Good Morning Britain hosts about the warning that led to her diagnosis.
“My digestion started to get a bit funny,” she explained, “(and) after what we ate in the jungle I wasn’t surprised.” (She spent time in the jungle on the British television show, I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! On the show, a number of celebrities live together in a jungle environment.)
“I noticed when I went to the toilet things like mucus and then blood,” she continued. “I didn’t know whether to call the doctor because of Covid; I didn’t want to bother anyone. But it got so consistent that I thought I’d better call up just in case.”
Before her diagnosis, she said was “pretty much” vegetarian, she exercised, “I tried to keep fit and well and eat the right things.” But, as we all know, cancer can still get you.
We’re all cheering for you as you enter your final chemotherapy treatment, Adele Roberts! You got this!
Contributing: Joe Kerwin