How Long Does Chemo Brain Last, and Tips to Manage?

Some cancer patients may experience mental fogginess or cognitive difficulties once they begin treatment. While this condition is commonly called “chemo brain,” it may occur with other cancer treatments, including surgery, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, stem cell transplantation and hormone therapy.While everyone’s experience is different, the symptoms may be unsettling, debilitating, and sometimes last well beyond the conclusion of treatment, depending on many factors.

City of Hope breast cancer survivor Karen R. described her experience with the condition as “scary” and “emotional” as she grappled with the lifestyle changes she had to make to accommodate her cognitive difficulties. Collaborating with a therapist, she was able to adjust and learn how to communicate clearly with loved ones and colleagues to help them understand her challenges. After about a year, the mental fog began to lift for Karen, and today, she shares her hard-won wisdom:

“Don’t feel guilty, don’t fight it; don’t beat yourself up. Chemo brain might not happen. But if it does, it’s OK.”

Researchers are working to find the possible causes of chemo brain and the best way to prevent or treat the symptoms and reduce their impact and duration.

Read more here from City of Hope to learn:

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Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) is now City of Hope®.  To expand patient access to personalized, leading-edge cancer care, City of Hope® acquired Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) last year, uniting our shared vision, values and commitment to high-quality, compassionate care that puts patients first. Today, we aren’t just part of City of Hope; we are City of Hope

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