Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Further proof of chemo brain

A study (because we needed another study to keep all those researchers busy) shows that an EEG can detect chemo brain in women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. So will people now really start to believe chemo brain, or cognitive deprivation, exists? For some reason, this reminds me of when doctors told women their cramps were imaginary.

If I think about the research and clinical trials put into development of chemotherapy and other drugs, when was chemobrain determined to be a 'non-issue'? It is a true side effect of chemotherapy for patients. If its temporary its one thing but for some women it really never goes away. So why was its impact determined not to be of importance?

So pretend if it it was not impact on your brain but on your heart or lungs which could be measured medically through tests quite easily and left the patient with a permanent impairment which interfered with their daily living and ability to hold a job. Would it be considered then to be a caution or warning when prescribing?

Chemotherapy drug doses are estimated based on patient weight and a few other factors so there is not really an exact dose to give everyone. It appears to me (and I am not a doctor) that the patient's first dose is a guess based on their weight and a few other factors, and then based on their reactions to it, they alter the dose for future rounds. Would lower doses still be effective but with fewer side effects such as chemo brain? I think we already know the answer - more research is needed.


2 comments:

AnneMarie Ciccarella said...

You KNOW you're singing my song....

Here's Idelle Davidson presenting the very questions you pose in a LIVE PRESENTATION which she then blogged about...

http://yourbrainafterchemo.blogspot.com/2012/06/asco-where-have-you-been.html

Going to find the abstract on that study. Want to see what they "discovered" .... Did you see the Army of Women video presentation of study results out of Stanford? I can send the link.

Matthew Wund said...

Hi Caroline. I'm the treasurer of The Christina S. Walsh Breast Cancer Foundation, a non-profit whose mission is to provide assistance and comfort to breast cancer patients who are suffering financial hardships. We're currently running a fundraiser on Causes.com. We'd love it if you could help us in our efforts to spread the word. Please visit our website for more information at www.christinaswalshbcf.org, from which the fundraiser can be accessed directly. Thanks, and best of luck with your health.