Chemo Brain



Chemo brain is a generic term used to describe thought and memory problems that cancer survivors may have after cancer treatment. Chemo brain is also called chemical fog, chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment or cognitive dysfunction.

Chemotherapy brain is a widely used term, but it is misleading. It is unlikely that chemotherapy alone is the only cause of cancer concentration survival concentration and memory problems. Researchers work to understand the memory changes of experienced cancer people.

Despite many questions, it is clear that the memory problem, commonly referred to as the brain of chemotherapy, is an unsatisfactory and debilitating side effect of cancer and its treatment. To understand this condition, more research is needed.


Brain signs and symptoms of chemotherapy include the following:

  • I am unusually confused
  • confusion
  • Intensive concentration
  • It is difficult to find the right word
  • It is difficult to learn new skills
  • Difficult multitasking
  • fatigue
  • Emotions of spiritual fog
  • Short attention period
  • Short term memory problem
  • It will take longer than usual to complete periodic tasks
  • Oral memory problems such as remembering conversation
  • Problems with visual memories such as calling lists of images and words

When going to see a doctor

If you experience troublesome memory and thinking problems, please make an appointment with your doctor. Please keep the journal of symptoms and symptoms so that your doctor can better understand how your memory disturbance affects your daily life.


It is unclear what is the cause of symptoms and symptoms of memory impairment in cancer survivors.

Cancer-related causes include:


  • Cancer diagnosis can be very stressful per se, which can cause memory problems
  • Certain cancers may produce chemicals that affect memory

Cancer treatment

  • chemical treatment
  • Hormonal therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Stem cell transplantation
  • Surgery

Complications of cancer treatment

  • anemia
  • fatigue
  • infection
  • Menopause or other hormonal changes (caused by cancer treatment)
  • Nutritional deficiency
  • Sleep problems such as insomnia
  • Pain due to cancer treatment

Emotional response to diagnosis and treatment of cancer

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • stress

Other causes

Hereditary susceptibility to chemo brain
Medicines for the treatment of signs and symptoms associated with other cancers such as analgesics
Recurrent cancer spreading in the brain

Risk Factors

Factors that increase the risk of memory impairment of cancer survivors include:

  • Brain Cancer
  • Chemotherapy directly given to the central nervous system
  • Chemotherapy combined with whole brain irradiation
  • Higher doses of chemotherapy or radiation
  • Radiation therapy to the brain
  • The age at the time of cancer diagnosis and treatment is low
  • Age increase


The severity and duration of symptoms sometimes described as chemotherapy brains vary from person to person. Some cancer survivors may return to work, but work may have extra concentration and time. Other people can not return to work.

If you have severe memory or concentration problems that make your job difficult, please consult your doctor. You may be introduced to an occupational therapist who can adapt to your current job or help you identify your own strengths and find new jobs.

Very rarely, people with memory and concentration problems can not work and must apply for obstacles. Ask the healthcare team for referrals to cancer medical social workers or similar experts to help you understand your options.

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