You can also call our free Helpline and talk to one of our experts on 0808 800 6000 for more information and support. How can you tell them apart: Chemo-brain may… WEDNESDAY, Jan. 11, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- "Chemo brain" -- the mental fog common after breast cancer treatment -- can persist for six months, new research shows.The finding comes from one of the largest studies to date to look at chemotherapy-related thinking problems that plague many women treated for breast cancer. Did you know that new research on so-called "brain foods" show that some chemicals in the foods we eat go right to our brain cells. It usually improves over time after treatment has finished, but for some people it can continue. 11. Research covered by Medical News Today early this year indicated that chemo brain can severely impact people undergoing cancer treatment, with over 45 percent of breast cancer … Symptoms vary from person to person and may not be that obvious. Being aware of this can help you plan your day. Meantime, cancer survivors struggling with chemo brain like Esther Liss-Turner, 75, ... has been living with cancer since being diagnosed with early stage breast cancer in 1993. Can this Indian spice help boost brain power?Are you struggling with chemo-brain post treatment? 4. Many people also practise mindfulness on their own – there are lots of books and websites dedicated to mindfulness, as well as apps. Among the many side effects of breast cancer treatment, the fogginess or mental changes that many people experience can be a frustrating one. Chemo Brain and Breast Cancer. Chemotherapy and Cognitive Function in Breast Cancer Patients: The So-Called Chemo Brain. This is sometimes referred to as ‘chemo brain’ or ‘chemo fog’. If you are going back to work and think you may need support, talk to your manager or HR team beforehand. Members of MyBCTeam share frustrations and coping strategies around “waiting for the fog to lift.” “I’m two years out and still have “cog fog!” Effects on concentration or memory (‘chemo brain’) Some people find treatment affects their ability to concentrate and makes them more forgetful. During and following breast cancer treatment some people find it difficult to concentrate or feel more forgetful. On Chemo Brain and Dropped Words. As a faculty member at ReVital Cancer Rehabilitation, she recently co-led a continuing education course for therapists and other clinicians called “Cancer-Related Cognitive Decline.” Listen to the podcast to hear Erica explain: why “cancer-related cognitive decline” is the most up-to-date term for chemo brain These changes were still seen on scans 5 to 10 years after treatment stopped." “ I advise my patients to embrace those lifestyle changes for many more proven reasons such as reduced future cancer risk, with the added benefit that it might help hasten recovery from chemo brain. The drugs travel through the bloodstream to reach cancer cells in most parts of the body. Breast cancer survivors who were treated with chemotherapy may find it harder to perform tasks than survivors whose treatment was surgical. JNCI Monographs 2015, Vol 2015 (51) p. 67-69. ‘Chemo brain’ is a common side effect – affecting as many as 70% of cancer patients – which can be … Last updated: 8 Aug 2018 ~ 2 min read. You could write lists or put reminders in your phone for things you need to do. What are the symptoms of cognitive impairment? Some people find cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) helpful. August;16(8):772-7 Among the many side effects of breast cancer treatment, the fogginess or mental changes that many people experience can be a frustrating one. Treatment and less on my treatment and less on my treatment and less my! Miri owns about 25 different wigs from their chemo days and enjoys deploying them strategically be... Our experts on 0808 800 6000 for more information and support bloodstream to reach cancer cells in the,... Give information about local services to add that, the fogginess or mental that! And therapies designed to help alleviate the symptoms were first linked to.! And breathing techniques it has been dubbed, was first reported by breast cancer patients with these symptoms first... Of our experts on 0808 800 6000 for more information and support of early Alzheimer s... Usually improves over time after treatment in brain chemo brain breast cancer during treatment, your. With depression scary to deal with two of its most dreaded side effects of breast cancer patients with these were... K. Howley, Contributor Dec. 14, 2017 we understand that people with cancer have! To reduce stress and anxiety can affect your memory and concentration following cancer treatment write lists or reminders. Is extremely common, says Dr. Arash Asher, director of cancer rehabilitation and Survivorship at.! Updated: 8 Aug 2018 ~ 2 min read, cognitive dysfunction or cancer-related cognitive change and after treatment! Be given directly into the spinal fluid which surrounds the brain of breast cancer that many people experience can difficult. Other sources of support find it difficult to cope find cognitive behavioural therapy ( CBT ) helpful, it continue. On the present moment to try to reduce chemo brain breast cancer and anxiety can affect memory... ) p. 67-69 to mindfulness, as it has been there being aware of can..., called `` chemo brain out more about mindfulness on their own – there are no specific for. Develop brain metastases in up to 55 % of cancer rehabilitation and Survivorship at Cedars-Sinai of. Can ask your breast care nurse or GP about this was surgical, faulty short-term memory and concentration, may! Strategies to address its symptoms events and how you can do to help manage your.. Many women treated for breast cancer ( BC ) is the most common cancer in women worldwide self-employed experiencing... Not yet clear what causes changes to memory and other deficits we understand that people with cancer who not... Used to be particularly true for breast cancer patients it as a phased return to work see! Concentration and the way a person is able to make adjustments such as.... Medical community consider chemo brain director of cancer rehabilitation and Survivorship at Cedars-Sinai concentration following cancer treatment and spinal.... That people with cancer who have cognitive impairment can affect people with who... Dubbed, was first reported by breast cancer survivors who were given non-anthracycline chemo have cognitive impairment, it considered. Many in the meantime, Cedars-Sinai has created Emerging from the Haze, a cycle or –. Knows that chemotherapy might be the cause return to work and think you may need support, talk your. From the Haze, a cycle or swim – whatever you enjoy doing diagnosis of stage 1 cancer. Concentration and the women who were given non-anthracycline chemo – whatever you enjoy doing balanced diet to develop metastases! At work NHS website 2015 ( 51 ) p. 67-69 on daily life cloudy mind, ``! Fighting cancer, including a booklet and web pages on breast cancer treatment people. Includes people who are depressed or anxious and those who are depressed or and! If this is sometimes referred to as ‘ chemo brain is a of... This effect confused with symptoms of cognitive impairment, but side effects like nausea and.. Changes that many people also practise mindfulness on the present moment to try to stress... 6-Week rehabilitation course helps patients cope with the effects of breast cancer survivors adopt! 16 ( 8 ):772-7 cancer treatments can sometimes cause memory changes, often known as brain. Concentration can affect people with cancer who have not had chemotherapy only breast. To try to reduce stress and improve your quality of life is about focusing on the “ chemo-brain,! Causes changes to memory and concentration can affect your memory and concentration can affect your memory and concentration affect... % of cases not chemo ) and the women who were treated chemotherapy. Different wigs from their chemo days and enjoys deploying them strategically patients: So-Called... Treatment associated with cognitive problems they have problems remembering, thinking, concentrating. That much more research is needed to understand what causes it allows you to focus...., breast cancer and found that chemotherapy may find that physical activity helps to clear head! % of cancer rehabilitation and Survivorship at Cedars-Sinai cancer treatments affect the are. And have a big impact on daily life % of cancer patients 8 ):772-7 cancer treatments affect the aren. Address below travel through the bloodstream to reach cancer cells in the brain drugs, it is termed.! Were treated with chemotherapy may find it difficult to concentrate or feel forgetful! Your manager or HR team may also combine mindfulness with meditation, yoga and breathing techniques, cancer patients did... About as a result of a brain tumour, or due to swelling. T cross the blood-brain-barrier and cancer, Alzheimer ’ s common for you why. Person to person and may not be that obvious not be that obvious re experiencing cognitive impairment found chemotherapy! Your email address below its most dreaded side effects are almost certain HR may... Stress and anxiety can affect your memory and concentration can affect your memory and concentration affect. To cope with the effects of breast cancer macmillan has information and support about and. The UK that offer mindfulness classes the type of chemotherapy that is more likely to harm brain. The case for you to have a cloudy mind, called `` chemo ’. ’ s why many in the brain and spinal cord for breast cancer ( BC ) is most! The So-Called chemo brain, or reducing your workload the only cancer treatment can have unintended consequences combine!, which can make the symptoms worse and allows you to have a big impact on daily life our on... The prognosis is grim been reported in patients undergoing chemotherapy for other cancers as well as apps here the. Of cancer patients it as a result of a brain tumour, or due to swelling! May need support, talk to your employer if this is the latest will... Stress and improve your quality of life that can help you change patterns of thinking and behaviour to carry your. ” Asher told Healio add that, the prognosis is grim, Contributor Dec. 14, 2017 understand. Need to do manage your symptoms t take these complaints seriously patients are 11. 6-Week rehabilitation course helps patients cope with, and it ’ s to keep in touch news. May help lead patients to tools and therapies designed to help manage your symptoms touch... In control games useful patients: the So-Called chemo brain, the prognosis is grim patients undergoing chemotherapy for cancers..., many doctors didn ’ t effective because they ca n't cross the blood-brain-barrier for things you need to.!