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Monday, 21.08.2017, 00:08
Main » Mammology » Memory impairment during the course of chemotherapy 
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Memory impairment during the course of chemotherapy


Memory impairment during the course of chemotherapy

Some patients have noted that during the course of chemotherapy, they have worse memory. Women often describe this as a "haze". Studies suggest that chemotherapy may have a potential side effect.


However, it should be remembered that the state of the memory effect, and many other factors. They are:
  • Sleep disturbance. This is most often associated with anxiety and a sense of uncertainty at the time of treatment.
  • Loss of livelihoods. Often a woman is all focused on their diagnosis. All thoughts are connected only with the disease and its treatment. Complement is a state of constant fatigue, stress and lack of rest. No wonder that in such a state it can not forget any of the facts.
  • Hormonal changes. Hormonal changes may be accompanied by depression, a change of mood. This is typical of menopause (menopause). Hormonal changes during breast cancer treatment can cause both chemotherapy and hormonal therapy.
  • Stress, anxiety and depression.



In July 2000, Canadian physicians have provided the results of a study on just this side effect of chemotherapy.

The study involved 31 patient with breast cancer treated with standard adjuvant therapy after surgery. All of them received either CMF (cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, fluorouracil) or TSEF cyclophosphamide, epirubicin, fluorouracil), some of whom received tamoxifen. 40 patients who have already undergone chemotherapy, on average, two years before the study. 36 women who had never suffered from breast cancer and did not receive chemotherapy.

All study women were tests of memory, concentration, visual and motor skills, as well as planning skills.

The results were as follows:

Half of the women who received either chemotherapy or have already completed a course of treatment, there were some problems with memory and attention. In 15 of those 31 patients who received chemotherapy, and 20 of the 40 who have gone once the chemotherapy, there was some loss of memory and attention. Especially pronounced changes were those women who still take the course of treatment.
In contrast, among women who had never received chemotherapy, there were only four people who had problems with memory.


The results of this study suggest that with time after treatment of memory disorders is gradually improving. Women who have already had chemotherapy, these violations were not so pronounced.

In 2007 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Oncologists were presented a small study which showed that women taking the drug provigil (modafinil) for 8 weeks after chemotherapy had improved memory and attention. However, the study included only 68 patients, and therefore greater accuracy requires more extensive research.

Side effects of the peripheral nervous system

Characteristic of a group of drugs are the taxanes is the so-called hand-foot syndrome, which manifests itself numbness, paresthesias, tingling, or redness, discomfort or tenderness of palms and / or soles. Usually these effects are temporary and disappear within a few months. Very rarely, they may be permanent.



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