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Living with Chemo Brain

By HERWriter
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Chemo brain is often a by-product of chemotherapy, hormone therapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy or surgery. If you've undergone any of these therapies, and found that later you experienced problems with thinking and remembering, you very likely have some chemo brain going on.

"Consequences of cancer treatment, such as low blood counts, fatigue, infection, menopause, poor nutrition and sleep issues, may also trigger symptoms. As a cancer survivor, you may be experiencing memory changes as a result of cancer treatment. Even though there's no clear definition of chemo brain, the medical community recognizes this is a problem that does occur."

Sheryl Ness, Mayo Clinic nurse educator, talks about some of the symptoms, and some techniques to help manage chemo brain. Problems concentrating and memory lapses are just a couple of the difficulties that may crop up in day to day life.

The mental blanks can be an ongoing challenge, but Sheryl offers some specific suggestions to make life a bit easier.


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Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

Jody - Thanks for this article. Far too often cancer patients aren't told about chemo brain and having this experience can make an already stressful situation more difficult. For many just knowing that there is such a thing, and that it has a name, brings enormous relief. Below are some additional articles on the site on chemo brain. Take care, Pat


April 16, 2010 - 4:20pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.