Another study on chemo brain, noting that some of the effects attributed to chemo are actually pre-chemo and post-cancer diagnosis related anxiety. Should be read in conjunction with Evidence of ‘chemo brain’ verified by researchers, which demonstrates that chemo brain, as narrowly understood as a chemo side effect, also exists.
Not surprising. When we have major worries, whether health-related or otherwise, we cannot perform at peak capacity, including our thinking. And while this study is based on women with breast cancer, likely applies to all of us faced with a cancer diagnosis. Quote:
“We really don’t know what the independent effects of chemotherapy are,” says Cimprich. “What we are saying is that there are likely other factors that may be related to fatigue and worry, factors that start before any treatment, and are then compounded or enhanced by the effects of chemotherapy.”
For some reason, women waiting for chemotherapy showed the most deficits in cognitive functions, which suggests that anticipating the rigorous rounds of treatment and the potential side effects, including hair loss, nausea and vomiting, causes more psychological distress than concerns about radiation therapy.