Chemo Brain

Last Modified: November 30, 2009


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

I have had problems paying attention and remembering things. I have heard the term "chemobrain", but I dont know what to do about it. Some people say it is real. Some people say it is not. Anyway, I have sure felt it. Any recommendations on things that can help?


Carolyn Vachani RN, MSN, AOCN, OncoLink's Nurse Educator, responds:

Chemobrain is absolutely real! Studies have found conflicting results, but ask any survivor and they will tell you it is real. I have a few good references for you:

An article called Living with ChemoBrain and a book dealing with the topic called Your Brain After Chemo.

There is not a whole lot of research into chemobrain yet, but I expect to see much more in the coming years. Researchers are looking at cognitive rehab programs, which were traditionally used for stroke patients, brain “exercise”, medications and more.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series, Understanding Breast Cancer Supportive Care Issues View the entire transcript.