According to the Mayo Clinic, chemo brain is a common term used by cancer survivors to describe thinking and memory problems that can occur during and after cancer treatment. Chemo brain can also be called chemo fog, cancer-related cognitive impairment or cognitive dysfunction.
Though chemo brain is a widely used term, the causes of concentration and memory problems aren’t well-understood. It’s likely that there are multiple causes.
No matter the cause, chemo brain can be a frustrating and debilitating side effect of cancer and its treatment. Researchers are working to understand the memory changes that people with cancer experience.
Signs and symptoms of chemo brain may include the following:
Being unusually disorganized
Difficulty finding the right word
Difficulty learning new skills
Feeling of mental fogginess
Short attention span
Short-term memory problems
Taking longer than usual to complete routine tasks
Trouble with verbal memory, such as remembering a conversation
Trouble with visual memory, such as recalling an image or list of words
Additionally, menopause-related cognitive symptoms are very similar to “chemo brain.” Women may go into instant menopause from cancer treatment and men may experience menopausal symptoms from hormonal therapy.
This certification is a must have for anyone working with clients over 50 years old, or those recovering from cancer surgery and treatment.