Join Us

We are 220,444 members in 84 forums discussing 161,934 topics.

Help with Abbreviations

Topic: Hand-Foot Syndrome

Forum: Stage IV/Metastatic Breast Cancer ONLY —

Please respect that this forum is for members with stage IV/metastatic breast cancer only. There is a separate forum for caregivers and friends: Caring for Someone with Stage 4 or Mets.

Metastatic breast cancer (MBC; also called stage IV) is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, most commonly the bones, liver, brain, or lungs. Metastatic breast cancer can be treated but not cured. Metastatic disease is NOT hopeless. There are a wide variety of treatment options for metastatic breast cancer, and new medicines are being tested every day. More and more people are living life to the fullest while being treated for metastatic breast cancer.

Note: Please contact your doctor for any specific concerns about symptoms you are experiencing or your course of treatment.

Learn more about living with MBC.

Intro medically reviewed by: Brian Wojciechowski, M.D.
Last review date: November 22, 2020

Posted on: Jul 1, 2007 03:59PM

SteveJ wrote:

Anyone out there with tips for ameliorating hand-foot syndrome problems (pain, redness and swelling in hands and feet)? Although other treatments also cause problem, this is due to oral Xeloda (capecitabine - 6/500mg/day), other than stopping taking it? We've just tried cold compresses on feet (bottoms) and staying off of them.
Sadly, my wife seems to get all the the side effects. We see onc tomorrow.
Steve Log in to post a reply

Page 1 of 1 (6 results)

Posts 1 - 6 (6 total)

Log in to post a reply

Jul 1, 2007 04:33PM PJB wrote:

Hi Steve,

A hand/foot former sufferer here, as well. I had many days when I couldn't hold a utensil or a toothbrush without severe pain. It's an AWFUL thing to go through.

I was recommended to use bag balm or udder cream to help the h/f. Unfortunately, while those work great for some people, it really didn't work for me (and I couldn't stand the smell of the bag balm).

We kept having to reduce the dose of Xeloda I was on until I was able to function. I think I ended up at 2500/mg a day. B6 was also recommended. It might have had some use for me, but by the time I started using it, the doc had already cut my dose, so I'm not sure.

Boy, I tried EVERYthing. Even Preparation H in desparation (it's supposed to ease pain and inflammation, right? Well, it didn't help THAT sort of pain and inflammation). I went to bed with cold packs every night, and that did help some.

I hope you get some good answers from the onc. Maybe they've found some other stuff to help by now. I've been off Xeloda and NED for 18 months now....

Best to your wife (and to you, I know it's not easy seeing someone you love suffering),

May 2004, Stage 2 IDC. Recurrence in 2005. On Femara til mets diagnosis in Feb 2009. On Faslodex 8/11. Brain mets in April 2012. Progression in liver 6/12. On to Etoposide. Dx mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Jul 1, 2007 07:47PM Betsey wrote:


I am also on Xeloda and have hand/foot syndrome. After 2 dose reductions and a change in my schedule (from 2 weeks on and 1 off to 1 on/1 off) I have finally gotten relief. I've also found several products that have helped. I use a cream called Udderly Smooth. It is a type of udder cream, but has a very pleasant smell. I also use A & D Cream (the white kind that is found in the baby section of the store). I've found Udderly Smooth at WalMart and also on line at or I have also been told that Shea butter can help, but haven't used it. You might also ask the onc if your wife would benefit from B-6. My oncologist recommended I take 100-150 mg a day.

Hope this helps. Believe me, I know how miserable hand/foot can be. Take care,

Log in to post a reply

Jul 1, 2007 08:00PM gracejon wrote:

I had PPE(hand/foot syndrome) while taking A/C> My oncologist prescribed 150mg of vitain B6 daily. I think it helped.

Log in to post a reply

Jul 2, 2007 02:26PM Helen1 wrote:


I also take xeloda 3000 mg daily 2 weeks on and 1 off. Some have had success w/ one week on and one week off. I have found that the best thing for me is udder cream and bag balm both can be found at Tractor Supply Stores or your local feed stores. Slather the bag balm on at night very thick, wear white cotton socks and white cotton gloves at night. I use the udder cream during the day. If I get my hands wet my fingers prune immediately. You can buy the gloves on line at they are called dermatological gloves (sp) $40 for 24 pair but they are washable and re-useable. I carry a pair in my purse as some times it is to painful to touch the steering wheel or pretty much anything else. The only thing that keeps me on this stuff 8is that when I started my CA 27-29 tumor markers were 734 and are now 181. ( or lower I hope, due for a redraw in 2 weeks) Xeloda is the 7th drug I have used and the first to show any response. The h/f syndrome gets aggravating, but as long as it seems to work, I keep keeping on
A mouse eats an elephant a bite at a time (I think I may need a bigger mouse)
Log in to post a reply

Jul 4, 2007 03:45PM SteveJ wrote:

Thanks for the replies. (also 3000mg/day 2 on 1 off)
Confirming some suggestions, onc now says to stop when hand/foot gets bad (very tender sausage fingers, toes, etc) and resume when much better (but not wait until totally gone). He says tumor has shrunk.
Numerous people suggest B6 and we're doing it, but so far not much evidence that it helps. Well, at least no bad side effects!
Mild nausea (impacting appetite, of course) - especially mornings also a problem but that is more likely due to the cancer than the treatment. Bite of marijuana cookies definitely helpful at that time.
Heal well,
Steve J
Log in to post a reply

Jul 5, 2007 06:01AM Helen1 wrote:

I have taken B-6 for several years as I also have diabetic neuropathy in my feet and 2 years of chemo hasn't helped either. I take 400 mg. daily w/ the aprroval of my onc. You don't notice it helping, but if you take it for a while and then stop, you will definitely notice the difference then. It's very hard for me to get to the health food store, and I was out for nearly a week and my feet were so painful I could just barely walk. It also helps if you get a good quality B6. My personal favorite is by Twin Labs- they are a very small capsule w/ no fillers. They seem to absorb better. I have also found that nexium ('the little purple pill') taken the days of xeloda ingestion is very helpful. Good luck

A mouse eats an elephant a bite at a time (I think I may need a bigger mouse)

Page 1 of 1 (6 results)