Navigation Links
Chemobrain -- the flip side of surviving cancer

One of the most problematic side effects of cancer treatment, chemobrain a range of symptoms including memory loss, inability to concentrate, difficulty thinking and other subtle cognitive changes following chemotherapy seriously diminishes women's quality of life and daily functioning. As a result, they have to adopt a range of coping strategies to manage their restricted social and professional lives.

Breast cancer survivors tell their story in a descriptive study (1) of the effects that cognitive impairment has on women's work, social networks and dealings with the health care profession. Dr. Saskia Subramanian from the UCLA Center for Culture and Health in the US and her colleagues have just published their work online in Springer's Journal of Cancer Survivorship.

An increasing number of women survive breast cancer, yet survival comes at a price. Mild cognitive impairment following chemotherapy, known as "chemobrain" or "chemofog" is one of the most commonly reported post-treatment symptoms by breast cancer survivors. Dr. Subramanian and colleagues' work shows that this deterioration in brain function has devastating effects on breast cancer survivors' quality of life.

Through a combination of focus groups and in-depth interviews among 74 women who had completed their course of cancer treatment at least a year earlier, the researchers gathered data on patients' medical background, treatment experience, post-treatment symptoms, reactions from medical staff and from family and friends, self-management, strength of social networks and their perceptions of themselves.

The women described a variety of cognitive changes which they found both frustrating and upsetting. Some were less able to retain material or to digest new information and recognized that they were not functioning as they once did. Others faced reduced independence, becoming limited in their ability to manage certain responsibilities or get around. These changes made women feel scared, dependent and emotionally drained. For some, coping meant having to cut back on work and social activities. Others had more or less accepted the limitations put on their lives and resigned themselves to a diminished cognitive capacity.

The majority of women complained about the lack of acknowledgement from the medical community when they mentioned their chemobrain symptoms. Many women wished they had received some warning and only a few got answers from their physicians. Some women felt that chemobrain confused their families and friends, and young children in particular.

Chemobrain also affected women's performance at work. Because they were less able to focus, duties became more difficult and often took longer. This affected their efficiency and reduced their chances of promotion or assignment to projects.

The authors conclude: "These data underscore the very serious ways in which chemobrain can affect the life experiences of cancer survivors emotionally, psychologically and economically. A clear understanding of the cognitive impairments experienced by survivors will aid researchers in developing targeted therapies and interventions aimed at improving or mitigating these post-treatment side effects."


Contact: Renate Bayaz

Related medicine news :

1. American Council on Exercise Offers 10 Tips for Surviving the Holidays
2. Surviving the Holidays after a Loved Ones Death
3. Surviving childhood cancer -- the success story
4. Surviving Daylight Saving Switch
5. Surviving breast cancer is not enough, warns Breast Cancer Campaign
6. Myanmar One Month Later: Delta Communities Surviving on Resilience
7. Desert plant may hold key to surviving food shortage
8. The First Surviving Set of African American Sextuplets To Be Profiled on Discovery Healths Then Came 6
9. Surviving Your PreRetirement Years: 15 Things You Must Do Between 50 and 64
10. Surviving the Holidays After a Loved Ones Death: Economic Woes Add to Holiday Pressure for People Who Grieve
11. Penn study: Chances of surviving cardiac arrest depend on where patients are treated
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... According to an article ... Dental Association meeting in Washington D.C. revolved around the fact that proper dental care, ... The talk stressed the link between periodontal disease (more commonly referred to as gum ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... convenient way to dispense prescription medications at home, so he invented the patent-pending ... monitor and dispense prescription medications. In doing so, it could help to prevent ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... MPWH, the No.1 Herpes-only dating community in the ... Table 1-1 ). More than 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 ... (HSV-1), according to WHO's first global estimates of HSV-1 infection . , "The data ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Keeping in mind challenges faced by parents ... consultation, has collaborated with a leading web-based marketplace for extra-curricular activities for children ... and bring advice from parenting experts within their reach. As a part of ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Indosoft Inc., ... the incorporation of Asterisk 11 LTS (Long Term Support) into its Q-Suite 5.10 ... brings Q-Suite 5.10 up-to-date with a version of Asterisk that will receive not ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... -- Research and Markets ( ) has announced the ... to 2019 - Rise in Cardiac Disorders and Growing Awareness ... their offering. Boston scientific ... scientific and others. --> The market is ... Boston scientific and others. ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... of the "2016 Future Horizons and ... Abuse Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment ... to their offering. --> ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... "Self Administration of High Viscosity Drugs" report ... has announced the addition of the "Self ... their offering. --> Research and Markets ... the "Self Administration of High Viscosity Drugs" ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: