Chemotherapy Effects in Cancer Patients
When we hear the words, cancer treatment, our minds naturally shoot straight to chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is one of the most commonly used ways to treat cancer. Chemotherapy did not have original plans to treat cancer patients, but it did have other plausible problems to aid. After WWII, lymphoma, a form of chemotherapy, was used to help soldiers who were harmed by mustard gas (Chemo Brain, 2012). This medical advancement continued to progress into what we now know as chemotherapy. However, no action takes precedence without effects, good or bad. Although chemotherapy is given to cancer patients in hopes of a positive outcome, chemo can have negative effects. Common effects that are seen in cancer patients who have received a form of chemotherapy treatment may experience: “chemo brain”, anemia, and nausea along with vomiting (Chemo Brain, 2012). Like any drug/treatment, chemotherapy can have a negative impact on a cancer patient.
Chemotherapy tends to have a psychological effect on patients, commonly known as “chemo brain” (Chemo Brain, 2012). Chemo brain is a mental disability that is caused by the effect of chemotherapy that may impair a cancer patient’s everyday life (Chemo Brain, 2012). Examples of Chemo brain may include: becoming forgetful, not being able to concentrate, trouble remembering any details, no longer being able to multi-task, having a difficult time finishing a task and having trouble remembering sentence structure (Chemo Brain, 2012). Even though chemo brain is the common term, doctors and researchers refer to chemo brain as “mild cognitive impairment” (Chemo Brain, 2012). They usually use the proper term if the effects are short-lasting, but will use the term chemo brain if the effects are a long lasting impairment (Chemo Brain, 2012). These effects that occur in cancer patients who have received chemotherapy may not be visible to outside sources. The patient with the effects are usually well aware of how different their mentality might be. This means even the most subtle effect in the patients’ brain will be highly noticeable to them (Chemo Brain, 2012).
There is a saying that says waiting hurts more, which happens to be a path patients often take. A percentage of patients with chemo brain are usually embarrassed to share the fact that they might have a common mental disability and usually refrain from telling people, including their doctors, until this disability affects their everyday life. This could lead to more effects such as, problems at home and even work (Chemo Brain, 2012). This leads to distress knowing that there is the possibility you may never be able to function normally again.
Even though researchers, doctors, and patients want to know more about chemo brain, certain aspects make brain studies highly strenuous to perform (Chemo Brain, 2012). Alot of this difficulty comes from the people trying to conduct the brain research due to not using the same testing...