Cognitive changes or changes in your ability to think may occur because of the cancer itself or cancer treatment. Chemotherapy, in particular, may cause cognitive problems because it travels through the bloodstream. In addition to killing cancer cells, chemotherapy also affects healthy cells throughout the body, including the brain.
Having cancer and undergoing chemotherapy can make you feel tired and cause physical discomfort. Some patients also experience emotional changes when faced with cancer and cancer treatments. These factors can also affect your thinking abilities. The problems can range from mild to severe. They may be temporary or persist over time, and might include:
- Learning and memory
- Managing daily activities and other cognitive functions
Treating Cancer and Preserving Quality of Life
In addition to treating your cancer, your overall quality of life is very important to us. The Breast Cancer Cognitive Evaluation Service is unique in the region and helps women face cognitive problems related to breast cancer or breast cancer treatment.
Before chemotherapy begins, the neuropsychologist conducts simple tests to obtain baseline information on your cognitive abilities. The evaluation takes about 60 to 90 minutes and is considered a standard part of treatment for all breast cancer patients who will receive chemotherapy.
To determine if cognitive changes occur during or after treatment, the neuropsychologist also conducts regular follow-up evaluations. If changes are noted, there are many therapies available to help improve your cognitive function and quality of life.
For more information on the Breast Cancer Cognitive Evaluation Service, please call 414-805-0505 or 866-680-0505.