We have some great articles here on EmpowHER about Chemo Brain. Chemo brain is a term used to describe how the mind/brain reacts during treatment for cancer - often from chemotherapy. Many of our readers (and writers) who have or are currently undergoing chemo know exactly what chemo brain means; fogginess, confusion and a kind of grogginess, forgetfulness and fatigue that comes during (and even after) cancer treatments.
One of our experts, Dr. Marilou Terpenning (who is a medical oncologist at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California.) describes her cancer patients as “people in their 20s that I treat for testicular cancer, and I have had people in their 80s that I treat, and everyone will notice some fogginess; don’t know the mechanism of it. It’s particularly profound in women who are in their twixt and tween years where they become menopausal from the chemotherapy.” http://www.empowher.com/breast-cancer/content/chemo-brain-it-common-after-chemotherapy-dr-terpenning-video
One of our members called it an “inability to concentrate, the words I forget halfway through a sentence, I feel like I'm just not as bright as I used to be, have wide mood swings, can't sleep, am anxious, frustrated ... I thought 'chemo brain' was a kind of joke; that the symptoms I have had for the last year would go away ... or it was something I just needed to 'get over' ... I am encouraged to learn that it's not 'all in my head' or something to be ashamed about.” You can read more of her story here and the comments from many of our readers, including cancer sufferers. http://www.empowher.com/community/share/chemo-brain-its-not-all-my-head
But a new study questions whether chemo brain is actually the result of the chemotherapy or other cancer treatments or if it’s actually due to the cancer itself. The New York Times reports that the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted research on almost 10,000 people. About 1300 of these people had a history of cancer, the others did not.