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Combating Memory Loss from Chemotherapy

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 2

According to Cancer.gov suggests that you write or record things you want to remember, use a pillbox or calendar to keep track of meds, write important dates and events on a calendar, use sticky notes on your door or bulletin board.

Memory loss from Chemotherapy has often been called “chemo fog” according to Mayoclinic.com.  I have heard many chemotherapy patients talk about the memory loss during and after chemotherapy from young and older patients. 

This video below talks about memory loss after cancer treatment.

James Craig at prostate.net suggests, keep mentally active by reading, doing puzzles, learning something new,  getting enough sleep without sleeping pills, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, keep up a routine such as putting your keys in the same place daily, and do not multi-task which could cause more frustration.    These are some of his suggestions to help with memory loss.

Everyone’s chemotherapy treatment has their own their unique situation. This  brave women talks about her treatment below in this video:

Denise Dador at abc7 news talks about how memory loss is not uncommon after chemotherapy.  She talked with a woman who had experienced memory loss after chemotherapy and radiation.  She also talked to Dr. Patricia A. Ganz, who shared information about a pilot study.  The patients participated in a 5 session two-hour session learning strategies to retrain their brain.  Dr. Ganz has been studying and doing research on this for several years.

The brain

I recall a bipolar patient that kept his medical information and contacts on him at all times, in case of an emergency.   This might also be a good idea for patients with memory loss in the event something happens and they are unable to recall  their medical information or contact persons. 

I have heard some chemo patients state that their doctors told them the chemo fog was all in their heads, but Pam Stephans at About.com states oncologists beg to differ that it is not.  She further adds that drinking 8 ounces of water per day, rest at regular times, talking to other survivors, and emphasizing memory games such as crossword puzzles or Sudoku are strategies to help with memory loss.   These are a few that she talked about.  So just know that if you are experiencing memory loss from chemotherapy you are not alone and there is something that you can do about it. [5743][5744][5745][5746][5747]



Nov 16, 2012 4:20pm
Thank you Betty for an informative and smart article on such a serious subject. Thankfully I'venever had the treatment but I have friends who have. Anyway, 2 BIG thumbs from me
Dec 9, 2012 12:05pm
thanks Marlando
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  1. National Cancer Institute "Managing Chemotherapy side effects, Memory Changes." National Cancer Institute. 24/11/2008 <Web >
  2. Mayo Clinic Staff "Chemo Brain." mayoclinic.com. 9/10/2010. 9/10/2010 <Web >
  3. James Craig "Chemobrain as a side effect of chemotherapy." Prostate.net. 20/3/2012. 20/3/2012 <Web >
  4. Denis Dador "Memory loss common after cancer treatment." , Healthy living. 16/07/2009. 16/07/2009 <Web >
  5. Pam Stephan "Chemo Brain, a side effect of chemotherapy." breastcancer.about.com. 12/06/2012. 12/06/2012 <Web >

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