When diagnosed with cancer, one common way to combat it is with chemotherapy. Chemotherapy has been used for years to battle cancer and to help reduce the chances of removed cancer cells from reoccurring throughout the body.
But many cancer survivors who have undergone chemotherapy treatments have shown signs of mild memory loss and daily forgetfulness, which is coined as the term, “chemo brain.” Just like pregnant women tend to see an increase in forgetfulness and a feeling of “brain fog,” chemotherapy patients that experience “chemo brain” complain that it can affect their common, everyday ability to recall typically memorable events and tasks. Chemotherapy drugs have been under heavy speculation due to the growing occurrence of “chemo brain” in chemotherapy patients. This form of memory loss may not only be an annoyance; studies have shown that chemotherapy drugs are sometimes the result of permanent brain damage in surviving cancer patients.
Results from these studies have not been consistent in proving that chemotherapy can actually cause memory loss and permanent brain damage, and specialists argue that depression and anxiety, which may affect cancer patients and survivors, can also cause the same kind of mild memory loss and forgetfulness. However, it is a common issue that is a concern to those dealing with cancer and chemotherapy treatments, and those experiencing these memory lapses.
Although bypassing chemotherapy as a treatment to cancer due to the possibility of some memory loss is, in most cases, not the best personal choice that one can make, it is a good idea to be aware of the results of chemotherapy in terms of brain function and memory loss.