Breast cancer survivors suffer cognitive impairments associated with chemotherapy
A recent study by National University of Singapore (NUS) researchers revealed that breast cancer patients who had received or were undergoing chemotherapy treatment showed symptoms of ‘chemobrain,’ in which they encounter memory loss, difficulty in decision making and speech problems. This first-ever qualitative study conducted among Asians, led by Alexandre Chan and Cheung Yin Ting, from the Department of Pharmacy at the NUS Faculty of Science, was conducted on 43 breast cancer patients who had completed, or are receiving chemotherapy treatment. The findings revealed that patients are not aware of the potential cognitive disturbances that may result after cancer treatment. They attributed the lapse in their cognitive functions to fatigue, anxiety and mood changes. The patients who participated in the study expressed that they were overwhelmed by the physical side-effects of chemotherapy that they were oblivious to the cognitive changes.