For patients, caregivers and family members of the CTCA Community
 
 
Chemo Brain

What is chemo brain?

About 30% of cancer patients say they experience memory issues and mental "fogginess"—often known as "chemo brain"—during and after treatment, according to an article published in Scientific American.

Many Cancer Fighters® members, however, are overcoming these challenges.

Speech-language pathologists at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) are helping cancer survivors with chemo brain retrain their brains to improve their memories and thinking abilities. Patients and caregivers can also make small lifestyle changes that can help them overcome chemo brain. You can find suggestions in the resources listed below.

Learn more and find help

If you think you or your loved one may have chemo brain, here are some articles and resources you may find helpful:

What You Need to Know about Chemo Brain. Do you start activities and forget to finish them? Have trouble remembering names and dates you used to recall easily? Does this sound like you or someone you love? If you or your loved one has noticed memory loss or trouble focusing after cancer treatment, you are not alone! Almost one out of every three cancer patients experiences these challenges.  Learn about this common problem and how to cope with it during this one-hour webinar hosted by Jennifer Cargile, MEd, CCC-SLP, Oncology Rehabilitation Therapist at CTCA Southeastern Regional Medical Center. To view the presentation, click here.

Overcoming Chemo Brain. Karen listened dutifully to her doctor, but later that night the information was gone from her memory. Read about how this Cancer Fighters member has worked through her symptoms at cancerfightersthrive.com.

Hope on the Horizon: Helping Combat Chemo Brain. Learn the proven strategies and tips CTCA is using to help cancer survivors get relief from brain "fogginess" (often called chemo brain) caused by treatment. Two patients and a caregiver share their challenges and how oncology rehabilitation at CTCA is helping them get relief. Read more at cancerfightersthrive.com.

Chemo Brain Study Suggests Mental Exercises May Help with Symptoms. After completing a training program, cancer patients had fewer complaints about their mental abilities and performed better on memory tests. Read more at cancercenter.com.

Tips for Coping with Cognitive Dysfunction. These guidelines can help make daily life more manageable if you or your loved one experiences chemo brain symptoms. Read more at cancercenter.com.

Study finds 'chemo brain' persists after treatment in breast cancer patients. Many cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy begin treatment expecting to deal with two of its most dreaded side effects: fatigue and hair loss. But there’s something else they should be prepared to address that may be just as disruptive: cognitive impairment that makes it difficult to concentrate and perform everyday tasks. Read more at cancercenter.com.

Can playing video games help cancer patients? Memory and cognition challenges are a common side effect of cancer treatment, affecting nearly 75 percent of patients, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).  Read more at cancercenter.com

Chemo Brain. The sometimes vague yet distressing mental changes cancer patients notice are real, not imagined. They might last a short time, or they might go on for years. These changes can make people unable to go back to their school, work, or social activities, or make it so that it takes a lot of mental effort to do so. Chemo brain affects everyday life for many people with cancer. Read more at American Cancer Society.

You may be interested in these resources:
JOURNALING

Writing for just a few minutes a day can remove mental blocks, letting you harness the power of your mind.

 
MIND-BODY MEDICINE

Mind-body medicine links physical health with psychological and spiritual wellness.