We want to be aware, acknowledge that it exists and prevent it.". 5. Consider earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones. Treatment can damage blood vessels and nerve connections, and affect the brain's chemical production. For me, chemo brain meant I could feel myself becoming dumber by the minute! Provide mental clarity Speed up mental processing. These studies suggest brain training exercises could be a simple way to alleviate at least some of the debilitating effects of chemo brain for cancer survivors. We use evidence-based hope. Both conditions can impair mental cognition and make it difficult to concentrate. The various cognitive impairments collectively known as “chemo brain” can cause anxiety, frustration and difficulty with everyday tasks for cancer survivors. More than half of cancer patients treated with chemo experience brain fog When under the fog of chemo brain, multitasking can seem overwhelming. Get adequate sleep: Sleep deprivation wreaks havoc on the brain. SUNDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- A so-called "genius pill" may help breast cancer survivors suffering from the syndrome known as "chemo brain," new research suggests. Learn some simple techniques that can sharpen your mind and put you back on top of your game. 7. One way to manage your energy and fight through chemo brain is with exercise. These types of practices teach you how to focus your attention. Talking to patients facing similar challenges can be encouraging and combat feelings of isolation. Dr. Dunbar references a study that uses a soil, seed and pesticide analogy to explain chemo brain: The "soil" is your brain health, age and any pre-existing conditions that can affect brain health. Cognitive problems can take away from a patient’s quality of life. "Many patients have meaningful improvements with treatment and in many cases, chemo brain or treatment brain goes away. However, despite the condition's name, chemotherapy is not completely to blame for symptoms, says Erin Dunbar, M.D., a neuro-oncologist at Piedmont. Evaluation of a Web-Based Cognitive Rehabilitation Program in Cancer Survivors Reporting Cognitive Symptoms After Chemotherapy. Chemo-brain IS real: Scientists discover how cancer treatments damage white matter to cause mental fog. The manufacturer recommends taking one or two Vectomega tablets daily. Seymour, CT. 06483
These problems, known more commonly as ‘chemo brain’, can be extremely frustrating for cancer patients. While the "pesticide" works to kill cancer cells, it can cause unintended damage to healthy cells as well as inflammation of the brain. For instance, try to: 1. Regular exercise is helpful for alleviating chemobrain symptoms. Source: Bray VJ, Dhillon HM, Bell ML et al. Certainly one issue which might contribute to it is … Continued © 2011 - 2021 Project Purple All Rights Reserved. One of my sons did a great impersonation of me, in which he would start talking and simply trail off in mid sentence. Even I had to admit it was both funny and accurate. The "pesticide" is the type of cancer treatment (such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, hormone therapy or immunotherapy) used to fight your cancer. Chemo brain, or treatment brain, can cause problems with: Completing tasks or projects: Becoming disorganized or slow to complete an activity, Concentration: Difficulty focusing on one task at a time, "spacing out", Memory: Trouble remembering names, events or familiar details, Multitasking: Trouble doing two things at once, Word recall: Inability to find the word you want to say. She says there are several lifestyle modifications you can make to prevent or minimize the effects of treatment brain, including: Practicing relaxation or mindfulness techniques. 115 Main Street Suite 1. In addition to these tips, seek help from your family and from your medical provider. "Someone may have fatigue, nausea or ear ringing during treatment, and a few months later, may experience hearing loss or memory loss," says Dr. Dunbar. In addition to cancer treatment, the following can contribute to treatment brain symptoms: Cancer itself, particularly if it has spread to the brain or started in the brain, Complications from treatment, including infection, pain, insomnia, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, anemia, menopause or hormonal changes, Stress, depression and/or anxiety related to your diagnosis. Get plenty of rest, since lack of sleep can impair brain function. "What matters is that the treatment can function as a toxin in the body and injure the brain unintentionally. Luckily, there are a variety of ways to help fight this feeling! Tags: #cancer, #cancersurvivor, #ChemoBrain, #chemotherapy, #memory, #Survivorship. Try mindfulness. Can cancer treatment affect your memory and concentration? "We pick the best treatment plan and optimize it for the patient. In some cases the disease itself or the drugs used to fight the disease cause cognitive impairment. 1. PHOTOGRAPHY. At Piedmont, our treatment plans are personalized to the patient's unique cancer journey and are precise, using the best available evidence to optimize their situation.". Although it can feel like a form of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, it’s not. Occupational therapy, which helps you master your environment. Rinse your mouth with a mouthwash or chew sugar-free gum to help combat any bad taste from the chemotherapy. 3. Depending on the type of treatment, some of the effects on the brain occur in real time and others are delayed or cumulative. Chemo-brain is a term frequently used within the cancer community to describe the feeling of memory loss and seemingly slower cognitive function after various types of cancer treatment. There are other things that can help too, including: … The "seed" is the type of tumor or cancer you have. Make Daily ‘To Do’ lists: Keep checklists of important things that need to be accomplished each day. 6. Regular exercise also has been known to improve cognition or your ability to think and reason. Chemo Brain Symptoms: Unfortunately, every day I hear from cancer survivors who tell me that their brain just isn’t the same as it was before treatment. "There is always something we can do to help treat their symptoms. Dr. Dunbar references a study that uses a soil, seed and pesticide analogy to explain chemo brain: The "soil" is your brain health, age and any pre-existing conditions that can affect brain health. It's sometimes called cancer treatment-related cognitive impairment, cancer-related cognitive change, or post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment. Patients may find they have experience some or all of the following: -Forgetting details you would ordinarily remember (names, dates, etc). 10. Many cancer patients experience mental fogginess during or after cancer treatments. 2. This gives us reason to believe that acupuncture could be helpful in reducing symptoms of chemo brain. Exercise: Getting blood flowing to the brain helps to improve memory and decreases stress. But the causes are not entirely known. And, in some cases, it will last years rather than months. 5 Try herbal teas to reduce nausea. COVID-19 Vaccine: For up-to-date information on eligibility and availability. An update is not required, but for best search experience we strongly recommend updating to the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer 11+. Stop Multi-Tasking: Focusing on one thing at a time will help you remember important details. Focus: Repeat information out loud and write down important details. Aerobic exercises – walking, running, dancing, or cycling, to name a few – are probably better, but one study did show that resistance and strength training helped as well. It is important to understand it is not just chemotherapy causing chemo brain or treatment brain. "There is a phenomenal amount of literature on the positive impact of mindfulness, yoga and stress-relieving techniques," says Dr. Dunbar. Be honest with your friends and family about your “chemo brain.” If you explain what you are going through, they can be more understanding. The "seed" is the type of tumor or cancer you have. How can I manage chemo brain? Studies have revealed that resistance exercise is particularly helpful for chemo brain. Chemo Brain is the term used for several cognitive changes cancer patients and survivors fact. Supercharge your brain power and combat mental decline with Vectomega. You can take steps to ease chemo brain symptoms on your own. Vectomega gives your brain exactly what it needs to overcome “chemo brain”, stroke, and the impact of time. Control what you can about your working environment. 2. “If you can attend to things longer, you are more likely to store them [in … 9. "It doesn't matter if your cancer treatment is a pill, intravenous chemotherapy or radiation," she says. Soft music may help drown out other noises. *We have detected that you are using an unsupported or outdated browser. Track your symptoms so you can share them with your physician. Embrace Technology: use reminders on your cell phone and/or computer to help you remember important appointments, birthdays, projects, etc. Brain fog or ‘chemobrain’ can impact memory, comprehension or speech, and it often lingers, making it difficult to carry out even some of the most basic everyday activities and greatly decreases overall quality of life. In a weekly class, patients are given strategies designed to improve cognitive function. A 2015 study suggests that aerobic exercise can fight the effects of “Chemo Brain.” The study included 20 women who were on average 53 years old, had been treated for breast cancer within the past three years and had reported cognitive difficulties. Carry a pad with you and write down the things you need to do. This issue is of increasing concern for clinicians as the number of … Exercise has been shown to combat your fatigue, improve your mood, reduce your anxiety and depression, and improve your overall physical well-being. So, for chemo brain, you … 4. Cross items off as you finish them. 2. Chemo brain is a mental cloudiness some people notice before, during, and after cancer treatment. Find out more about Breast Cancer Index (BCI): http://www.breastcanceranswers.com/breastcancerindex/Chemo brain...it's a real thing. Most employers are required by the Americans with Disabilities Act to help you make reasonable accommodations to perform the essential functions of your job. Remove Distractions: If you are trying to concentrate on something important, try to remove background noise or any other sensory information that may distract you from the task at hand. 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