What is chemo brain, and what can be done for it?

Chemo brain is a series of memory and concentration failures experienced by some patients treated with chemotherapy. Patients with chemo brain are often afraid that it means that their cancer has spread to their brain. Medical treatment with stimulants such as methylphenidate or modafinil are currently being tested.

In the meantime, if chemobrain is diagnosed, the patient can do things to make life easier. For example, the patient can have standard places to keep things (such as car or house keys), work more slowly to truly concentrate on the task at hand, and keep a pen and paper at phones and bedside to write notes. But the best thing is to allow others to help out whenever possible to reduce stress and obligation for the patient. — Rosemarie A. Tucci, RN, MSN

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