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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Chemo Brain in Childhood

When children go through chemotherapy for Cancer, besides the numerous side effects that they may experience, their brain may experience changes as well.

Brain after Chemo

Chemotherapy Effects

Chemotherapy not only affects the body, but affects the entire brain. Sometimes children may experience “Chemo Brain” after Chemotherapy. It has been sometimes called chemo fog. According to livestrong.com chemo fog affects children more so than adults. Children's cancer is treated more aggressively with higher dosages of chemo and radiation, because of higher incidents of brain tumors. They further add they may develop problems with memory, verbal attention, and confused thinking for weeks or months. After talking with several adult cancer patients, I know that this is true.

According to scientist.com chemotherapy can cause chemo fog in children and cause a rippling effect throughout their adult life.

Signs of Chemo Brain

Mayo Clinic.com suggests some of the signs of chemo brain are being unusually disorganized, confusion, difficulty concentrating, short-term memory problems, feeling of mental sluggishness and more.

How blueberries reverse chemo brain

Coping With Chemo Brain also known as (Brain Fog or Chemo Fog)

Several ways to cope with chemo brain may include making lists, keeping a calendar, leaving reminder messages, and doing one thing at a time according to caring.com. These are just a few of the things that they suggest. Might I add there has been so much emphasis in previous years on multi-tasking that doing one thing at a time is a total turn around. In talking with other cancer patients, they have emphasized that the chemo fog may come and go at various times.

More Help With Chemo Brain

Fredhutch.org suggests several more things you can do to help fight Chemo Brain. They are as follows:

a. Try brain exercises such as puzzles or word games.

b. Do physical exercise, but not to the point of fatigue

c. Ask for help, everyone needs help at some point in time

d. Work on your strengths.


Strategies for Cognitive Problems

Cancer.net suggests keeping a pad and pencil with you to jot down notes and eliminate clutter. They further add that some children may need to learn new ways of learning in school and utilize special in school reading or math classes that may be available. Yes there is help for Chemo Brain.

Photo Caption:  Morguefile, by Greyerbaby


Neurological Effects of Chemotherapy on Young Children by Kat McCallum

After Chemo

Chemo Brain

12 Ways to Cope With
Chemo Brain”

Coping with 'chemo brain'

Attention, Thinking, or Memory Problems

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  1. Thank you for all your research and for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

    1. Your welcome Terri. After watching Red Band Society on television, I realized those that are not affected by Cancer may sometimes think of it as an adult disease, yet it affects children as well, even small babies.

  2. Thank you for sharing this. My son is undergoing chemotherapy and struggles to concentrate, so this may be why

    1. You are welcome mumjd. Yes chemo affects the brain, but you an help him so much knowing this. Many things he may forget, but you can remember for him especially concerning dates,events, or even doctor appointments.