“Chemo Brain” Exists, and it Lingers

The New York Times reported this week on a new study that confirms that “Chemo brain” is s a lingering cognitive side effect of cancer chemotherapy treatment. What is often brushed off by physicians as symptoms of normal aging or attributed to fatigue from illness, is now recognized as a pronounced and long lasting cognitive impairment. This foggy thinking, forgetfulness, difficulty finding words, and changes in memory, motor skills, and dexterity can be attributed not only to the compromises that the body’s cells have experienced from cancer, but also the body’s reaction from treatment.

The study found that recovery from cancer is not a simple fix. It takes time and patience, and the effects of treatment can linger for the duration of five years or more, depending on the individual. Cancer survivors must be mindful of these circumstances when attempting to return to their regular activities or work responsibilities. With memory, information processing, multi-tasking, and executive function skills impaired, recovering cancer patients may not be able to perform job responsibilities at the same functional level as before treatment.

Kantor & Kantor has been successful in obtaining disability benefits for clients suffering from “chemo brain” who were not cognitively capable of returning to work.

You can read the NY Times article here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/04/chemo-brain-may-last-5-years-or-more/?ref=health

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