Post-Chemo Memory Loss Isn't All in the Head

Doctors catch onto "chemo brain"
By Max Brallier,  Newser User
Posted Apr 29, 2007 8:00 AM CDT
UCSF Cancer Center Uses Latest Technologies To Battle Cancer   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Docs are finally cluing in to "chemo brain," the fuzzy-headed forgetfulness following treatment that cancer survivors have long suffered—and doctors long denied. The condition, suffered by roughly 15% of breast cancer survivors, refers to a laundry list of memory-loss issues that researchers think result from high levels of toxic exposure during chemo.

For years, docs dismissed the condition, which can linger for decades. As cancer survivors live longer—and their memory loss doesn't diminish— researchers are finally paying attention. That's welcome news to the women who have built a community around their unrecognized suffering. "Just to have it acknowledged makes a difference," says one survivor.