Monday, 6 January 2014

MRI - Mild cognitive Impairment - Chemo brain

Once you've been diagnosed and you start your treatment plan, it doesn't just stop there. Chemotherapy alone can leave you with chemo brain and immense fatigue. And let me tell you that fatigue is very different to feeling tired. It's not a case of receiving treatment and then BANG your back to normal, like tickety boo. You have to deal with further side effects ... the joys ....

I say this as I have tried to write the word 'gold' for the last five minutes and couldn't remember the second letter ..

It was initially reported by female breast cancer patients that they were having problems with thinking, memory and concentration. They attributed these effects to chemotherapy, so called `chemo brain'. 

These negative effects are known by various names including:

  • chemo brain
  • Chemotherapy Cognitive Impairment
  • Post Cancer Cognitive Impairment (PCCI)
  • Mild Cognitive Impairment
  • Chemo fog
  • Cognitive dysfunction

It is not 100% certain that these effects are caused by chemotherapy, but there is no doubt that the impairment is real. Cancer Research UK reports that studies estimate between 17-50% of breast cancer patients and 47-69% of prostate cancer patients having chemotherapy have experienced some form of cognitive impairment (

Click image to enlarge

1 comment:

  1. Yes, chemo brain is VERY real! Like you, I find myself struggling to remember how to spell a simple word; and I've always been good at spelling and grammar. Incorrect spelling was an irritant for me before chemo, so to not be able to spell a simple word all at once is very frustrating!!