Chemo Brain, Chemo Fog, in Breast Cancer Patients is Real

Chemo Fog, or chemo brain is reported by many cancer patients, but doctors tend to ignore it since they put most of their concentration of treating the cancer. Additionally this general cognitive dysfunction can last long after the the patient has stopped cancer treatment.

But finally this important topic is getting addressed:

Many cancer survivors report feeling they’ve lost some mental sharpness following treatment. This common phenomenon has come to be known as “chemo brain” or “chemo fog,” which is somewhat misleading because it also occurs in people who have not undergone chemotherapy.

Although recent studies have shown that up to 75% of cancer survivors do indeed experience altered mental function — and that these changes can last for five years or longer — doctors often downplay complaints about chemo fog.

This new study reported it Times point out the details of what they found.

In a new study published this week in the Archives of Neurology, Kesler and her colleagues provide more evidence that the phenomenon is real. Using brain scans, the researchers found that breast-cancer survivors show changes in key aspects of mental function that can translate to real-world difficulties. And these changes were particularly marked in women who had undergone chemotherapy.

Well, know that we know it is real – what can we do to prevent it, or improve the recovery?  That has not been addressed yet, but the first step is facing up to the facts that this is a real problem – and we need to find better options.

 

 

1 comment for “Chemo Brain, Chemo Fog, in Breast Cancer Patients is Real

  1. October 22, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    It’s very possible that the traumatizing event of having cancer and going through all of the stressful therapies can affect the brain. They say that stress itself can change our mental condition. Trauma can definitely change how a person feels/acts. The two combined are a probable explanation.

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