Chemo brain is a common term used by cancer survivors to describe thinking and memory problems that can occur after cancer treatment. Chemo brain can also be called chemo fog, chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment or cognitive dysfunction. Though chemo brain is a widely used term, it's misleading. It's unlikely that chemotherapy is the sole cause of concentration and memory problems in cancer survivors. Despite the many questions, it's clear that the memory problems commonly called chemo brain can be a frustrating and debilitating side effect of cancer and its treatment.
Difficulty concentrating on a single task, Problems with short-term memory; forgetting details of recent events, Feeling mentally “slower” than usual, confusing dates and appointments, Misplacing objects, Fumbling for the right word or phrase. These symptoms generally will fade after chemotherapy ends, but each patient is different. Some may take a year or more after treatment to feel normal again; others may never regain full cognitive function.
Meeting a medical practitioner
When the symptoms of chemo brain begin, how long these symptoms last and how much trouble or difficulty they cause may vary quite a bit. While the term “chemo brain” is not commonly accurate, it’s still what most people refer to in regards to addressing possible memory issues from cancer treatment. The causes of brain problems related to cancer and its treatment are still being studied.
It's not clear what causes chemo brain, and no cure has been identified. In most cases, cancer-related memory problems are temporary, so treatment focuses on coping with symptoms. No standard treatment has been developed for cancer-related memory problems. Because symptoms and severity differ from person to person, your doctor can work with you to develop an individualized approach to coping.