Clinical Hub,Patient Education,Health and Nutrition Facts For You,Cancer, BMT, Hematology

Cognitive Changes after Cancer (7709)

Cognitive Changes after Cancer (7709) - Clinical Hub, Patient Education, Health and Nutrition Facts For You, Cancer, BMT, Hematology


Cognitive Changes during and after Treatment for Cancer
You may notice changes in memory or focus during
or after your cancer treatment. This is sometimes
called “chemo brain.” This can happen even if you
did not get chemotherapy. Here is a list of things
that may affect how the brain works during or after
your cancer treatment:
ξ The cancer itself
ξ Chemotherapy drugs
ξ Other drugs used as part of your treatment,
such as corticosteroids, anti-nausea.
medicines, anesthesia, or pain medicines.
ξ Low blood counts
ξ Trouble sleeping
ξ Infection
ξ Feeling tired
ξ Hormone changes or hormone treatments
ξ Other illness such as diabetes or high blood
ξ Nutrition
ξ Older age
ξ Depression, anxiety
ξ Stress
How might these changes be managed?
If your cognitive impairment is caused by a
treatable issue like infection, low blood counts or
nutrition, your doctor may order medicines or blood
products to help. If it is caused by your cancer or
your cancer treatment, there may be no specific help
for it. There are several things you can do to cope
with the symptoms:
ξ Work less
ξ Do one thing at a time
ξ Make lists
ξ Get enough rest and sleep
ξ Make checklists or daily reminders
ξ Color-code and label items
ξ Exercise your brain: take a class, do
crossword puzzles, Sudoku, number or word
games, or electronic games
ξ Get regular physical activity
ξ Take part in relaxation activities
ξ Eat a balanced diet
ξ Set up and follow routines. Pick one place to
put items that are often lost and always put
them there.
Ask for help if you need it. Friends and loved ones
may not know how to help you. Have them can help
with routine chores. This may cut down on
distractions and help you save mental energy.
Talk about these changes with your family, friends,
and your health care team. Most people get better
over time. You may be able to control and manage
your symptoms until they improve or go away. If
you have concerns about any of the changes you’re
having, please contact your health care team.

Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you have any questions. If
this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This is not medical advice. This is not to be
used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your
doctor or others on your health care team when using this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 11/2017
University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7709