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Chemo Brain: The Fallout from Cancer Treatment

Even after the trials of chemotherapy, the brain can show lasting scars from treatment. People report short-term memory loss, difficulty retrieving information, and problems with attention.

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Introduction

Cancers of the central nervous system (CNS) strike thousands of people worldwide each year and can be difficult to treat. Tumors, whether cancerous or not, can interfere with normal brain function. Depending on their size and location, brain tumors cause a variety of symptoms, from dizziness and headaches to seizures and paralysis. Human and animal studies are pointing scientists to new clues about how cancers spread through the CNS, and how to combat them. Brain tumors can be difficult to surgically remove without disturbing brain function. Because the brain is protected from the bloodstream by a biological barrier, chemotherapy drugs have difficulty reaching them. However, researchers are actively searching for new treatments, designing new drugs to breach the blood-brain-barrier and directly target cancerous cells. In addition, information about genes, the environment, and life experiences might offer greater insight into the causes of brain cancer.

Discoveries

Glioma Brain Tumors

Source: Society for Neuroscience

Lethal glioma tumors are one of the most devastating diseases because they are so difficult to treat, much less cure. But now scientists are on track to find potential treatments.


Chemo Brain: The Fallout from Cancer Treatment

Source: Society for Neuroscience
Even after the trials of chemotherapy, the brain can show lasting scars from treatment. People report short-term memory loss, difficulty retrieving information, and problems with attention.

Brain Tumor Basics

Source: Society for Neuroscience
Whether cancerous or not, brain tumors are serious because they can interfere with normal brain function.

Cancer in the News

Studies Still Looking for Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors

Source: Reuters
Date: 22 May 2014
The heaviest users of cell phones may be at higher than average risk of being diagnosed with a brain tumor, according to a recent French study.

Brain Tumor Risk Higher for Teens Who Stop Growing Later

Source: LiveScience
Date: 14 April 2014
Teens who take longer to reach their full height may be at increased risk for certain types of brain tumors later in life, a new study suggests.

Breast Cancer Drug's 'Brain Fog' Side Effects are Real, say Researchers

Source: The Independent
Date: 18 Sept 2013

The 'mental fog' effect experienced by users of the drug Tamoxifen has a 'biological basis.'