More support is needed to help breast cancer patients and survivors manage ‘chemobrain’ symptoms, such as memory loss, short attention span and mental confusion, according to a study led by researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS).
The study involving 131 female breast cancer patients in Singapore revealed that almost half had suffered from cognitive decline at some point during treatment and up to one year post-treatment. Close to 30 per cent had reported some degree of cognitive impairment one year after undergoing chemotherapy.
“Cognitive impairment among breast cancer survivors is an important issue now because early stage breast cancer is treatable. Knowing when patients experience these cognitive problems, and how long the symptoms persist, can aid the development of suitable screening and clinical management measures,” said research team leader Associate Professor Alexandre Chan, who is from the Department of Pharmacy at NUS Faculty of Science.
Cognitive challenges affecting breast cancer patients
Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer among Singaporean women. Between 2010 and 2014, more than 1,800 women in Singapore were diagnosed with the condition each year.
While current treatments convey excellent survival benefits – with more than 90 per cent of patients surviving beyond five
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