"Chemo brain" is a common term used by cancer survivors to describe thinking and memory problems that can occur after cancer treatment. Chemo brain can also be called cancer-related cognitive impairment or cognitive dysfunction.
Some patients experience cognitive changes during and after treatment. These changes can include:
- being unusually disorganized
- difficulty concentrating
- difficulty finding the right word
- difficulty multitasking
- short attention span
- short-term memory problems
- taking longer than usual to complete routine tasks.
If you are a cancer survivor and are experiencing changes in thinking, memory, and/or decision-making; get distracted; cannot quite remember something although it's on the tip of your tongue; or fail to hear people speaking to you when you are doing something else, occupational therapy may be a good fit for you.
Within occupational therapy, we help break down barriers so that clients can do the things they need and want to do in life. An ongoing research study within the Program in Occupational Therapy explores how using OT can significantly reduce the effects of chemo brain and other cancer-related treatments among survivors.
In addition to cognitive changes, cancer survivors may also experience fatigue, anxiety, and depression, as well as struggle with performing their activities of daily living. Early results of the study show that following occupational therapy, cancer survivors report that they are better able to manage daily challenges, and can more easily accomplish their regular tasks, activities, and goals.
The severity and duration of the symptoms of chemo brain and other cancer-related effects differ from person to person, so the interventions and coping strategies will also vary for each person as appropriate.
Our skilled clinicians will work with you to:
- develop strategies to improve your cognitive abilities and performance
- help you improve your ability to complete every day life activities
- create a plan that equips you to better manage any symptoms associated with cancer treatments, and
- Identify ways to improve your overall health and wellness.
Don't let cancer define you; our team can help equip you with ways to live meaningfully following your cancer diagnosis!