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Cognitive Alterations in a Growing Population of Cancer Survivors (Chemo brain and much more)

Cognitive Alterations in a Growing Population of Cancer Survivors (Chemo brain and much more)

At last, recognition that there is a growing population suffering from permanent cognitive difficulties after cancer treatment...

'Given the trajectory of survivorship, and considering the great psychological and emotional stress associated with cancer diagnosis and treatment, mental health professionals will be faced with and will need to address unique short-term and long-term needs of individuals with cancer or living with a history of cancer.

A subgroup of survivors is vulnerable to persistent posttreatment adverse effects of neurotoxic cancer therapies such as fatigue, depression, chronic pain, sleep disturbance, and dysfunction across several cognitive domains. Neurocognitive complications vary in onset, duration, and severity and are associated with radiation treatment and most chemotherapeutic agents. Cognitive adverse effects not only affect daily functioning and quality of life, but also influence patient survival by affecting dosage regimen and compromising adherence to treatment.


Taken together, the available evidence indicates that chemoradiation-induced adverse effects such as cognitive difficulties, neuropathy, and fatigue may persist indefinitely (even long after treatment cessation); this can cause great distress for the patient and may thus interfere with cancer treatment, daily functioning, overall quality of life, and ultimately, long-term survival. Continued engagement of mental health professionals, and consideration of the entire clinical spectrum associated with psychosocial health, will help to prevent or minimize distress and promote well-being in cancer survivors':

Full (brief) article from Psychiatry Advisor:



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