Chemo brain is a symptom that cancer patients may experience as a side effect from chemotherapy during their cancer treatment. The symptoms of chemo brain include mental fogginess or forgetfulness. While many patients refer to these mental symptoms as having a “chemo brain” moment, new studies confirm that the memory problems associated with chemo brain are, in fact, real symptoms.

While the good news is that this symptom is generally short-term, unfortunately there is currently not enough research and information on it to determine how to prevent it, as well as better understand this symptom.

Learn About Chemo Brain

Some of the symptoms of chemo brain may include forgetting common words, having a shortened attention span, difficulty concentrating or even multitasking.

Unlike the side effect of hair loss during chemotherapy, which is easy for others to see, many of the patient’s friends or family may not even notice that the patient is experiencing chemo brain symptoms. For that reason, it’s important for patients to tell their family, friends and health care team about any chemo brain symptoms they may experience. If a patient experiences any cognitive symptoms during their cancer treatment, please tell your oncologist. They will want to check for any causes which may contribute to the symptoms. And if a patient’s symptoms significantly interfere with their daily life or with their work, your physician may recommend a specialist for further evaluation.

While more research and information are needed to better understand and prevent chemo brain, fortunately the symptoms of chemo brain usually subside after the patient’s cancer treatment.

Please visit our chemo brain page to learn more about the symptoms as well as tips on how to cope with it. And visit our chemotherapy side effects page to learn more about possible other side effects during cancer treatment.