Breaking News
March 20, 2019 - Piece of puzzle unlocked in what drives alcohol addiction
March 20, 2019 - Researchers investigate whether Zika reservoirs are found in the Americas
March 20, 2019 - Compounds found in coffee may inhibit growth of prostate cancer
March 20, 2019 - Lab Innovations returns to the NEC on 30 & 31 October 2019
March 20, 2019 - How genes affect tobacco and alcohol use
March 20, 2019 - Plant cellulose bone implants are “viable” option to support new bone growth, study finds
March 20, 2019 - Older people living in retirement communities benefit from improved health
March 20, 2019 - UTSA professor helps train first responders to detect prescription opioid overdoses
March 20, 2019 - Biohaven’s Verdiperstat Receives Orphan Drug Designation From FDA For Multiple System Atrophy
March 20, 2019 - Smoking may limit body’s ability to fight dangerous form of skin cancer
March 20, 2019 - Researchers receive $9.7-million grant to develop new hearing-loss treatments for deaf
March 20, 2019 - TGen and ABL sign agreement to distribute new TB test technology
March 20, 2019 - UCD researchers lead development of new urine test to detect prostate cancer
March 20, 2019 - Miniature brains that can move muscles, grown in the lab
March 20, 2019 - Servier and Oncodesign announce research and drug development partnership
March 20, 2019 - FDA warns marketer of unapproved products claiming to treat addiction, chronic pain
March 20, 2019 - TB Medicine Pretomanid Enters Regulatory Review Process in the United States
March 20, 2019 - Breastfeeding can erase effects of prenatal violence for newborns
March 20, 2019 - Tens of Thousands of Heart Patients May Not Need Open-Heart Surgery
March 20, 2019 - Space worries – shingles affecting astronauts says NASA
March 20, 2019 - Study shows how AI can improve physicians’ diagnostic accuracy
March 20, 2019 - Dolomite Bio launches new scRNA-Seq Reagent Kit at AGBT 2019
March 20, 2019 - World’s oldest semen viable for artificial insemination
March 20, 2019 - FDA Approves Zulresso (brexanolone) for the Treatment of Post-Partum Depression
March 19, 2019 - How it manipulates us to tribalism
March 19, 2019 - How can doctors encourage patients to adopt healthier behaviors?
March 19, 2019 - Meet Hal: He's One Sick Robot
March 19, 2019 - Blood test and mathematical model can estimate preterm birth rate in low-resource countries
March 19, 2019 - TAVR procedure safe in patients with unusual valve anatomy
March 19, 2019 - Proteins in the eye may be potential source for cost-effective test to predict Alzheimer’s disease
March 19, 2019 - Opioid Prescriptions Dropped for New Users From 2012 to 2017
March 19, 2019 - New method may better predict the best treatment for burn wounds
March 19, 2019 - “Asian” isn’t specific enough for health data, research suggests
March 19, 2019 - ColumbiaDoctors Presents Honors for Outstanding Commitment to Patient Safety
March 19, 2019 - Innovative model identifies primate species with potential to transmit Zika in the Americas
March 19, 2019 - One-off surgery could offer hope to patients with high blood pressure
March 19, 2019 - Many pet owners interested in feeding their pets with plant-based diet
March 19, 2019 - How to Protect Your Kids From Drowning
March 19, 2019 - CEA Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
March 19, 2019 - Two years after face transplant, Andy Sandness’ smile shows his progress
March 19, 2019 - Registration now open for Stanford’s Big Data in Precision Health conference
March 19, 2019 - Gene Keeps Fear at Bay, But Only in Females
March 19, 2019 - Cholesterol lowering drug can also help treat cancer-associated cachexia
March 19, 2019 - GARDP and Evotec partner to tackle growing threat of antimicrobial resistance
March 19, 2019 - Ultrasound offers precise, minimally invasive way to measure cardiac output in children
March 19, 2019 - Study suggests potential new approach to treat atopic dermatitis
March 19, 2019 - Sense of control over life makes older adults feel younger
March 19, 2019 - Study shows how probiotics influence gut microbiota
March 19, 2019 - Study offers new evidence that narcolepsy is an autoimmune condition
March 19, 2019 - Breastfeeding may offer long-term heart health benefits for women
March 19, 2019 - Study of young athletes suggests snoring and sleep apnea are linked to sudden cardiac death
March 19, 2019 - Did Your Doctor ‘Ghost’ You? An Employment Contract May Be To Blame
March 19, 2019 - Food pantry clients more likely to make healthy choices when meal kits and recipe tastings are available
March 19, 2019 - Mental health problems among children increasing
March 19, 2019 - New ISO standard helps evaluate and manage impact of environmental damage
March 19, 2019 - CardioMEMS heart failure sensor reliably safe, effectively reduces hospitalizations
March 19, 2019 - Researchers report promising results of potential reversal agent
March 19, 2019 - Scientists identify brain circuit responsible for cocaine-seeking behavior during relapse
March 19, 2019 - First African-American Neuroscience Research Initiative launched to close the gap in health disparities
March 19, 2019 - Bimekizumab Demonstrated Long-Term Maintenance of Complete or Almost Complete Skin Disease Resolution for Psoriasis Patients in BE ABLE 2 Extension Study
March 19, 2019 - Attitudes about health affect how older adults engage with negative health news
March 19, 2019 - Huron Digital Pathology to unveil new ‘Scan Index Search’ platform at USCAP 2019
March 19, 2019 - Frequent intake of sugary drinks tied to greater risk of premature death
March 19, 2019 - Bruker showcases new analytical systems and applied market solutions at Pittcon 2019
March 19, 2019 - Framingham cardiovascular risk prediction model from the 1990s still gives the best results
March 19, 2019 - New article focuses on integrative health, value-based medicine, and whole systems research
March 19, 2019 - Foamix Announces FDA Acceptance of New Drug Application for FMX101 Minocycline Foam for the Treatment of Moderate-to-Severe Acne
March 19, 2019 - National survey of emergency dept management of self-harm highlights successes, room for improvement
March 19, 2019 - Scientists reverse alcohol-seeking behavior in rats with flip of a switch
March 19, 2019 - Researchers hope blood test that accurately diagnoses fibromyalgia could be available within five years
March 19, 2019 - New Planmeca ProScanner 2.0 offers fast and dependable intraoral imaging
March 19, 2019 - A new option for reducing LDL cholesterol in patients at high risk for heart attack, stroke
March 19, 2019 - Common medications to treat heartburn linked to increased risks for kidney failure
March 19, 2019 - Current HBV genome sequences help deduce ancient human population movements into Australia
March 19, 2019 - Pure omega-3 prescription drug significantly reduces the occurrence of ischemic events
March 19, 2019 - Researchers use big data to gain better understanding of hepatitis E virus
March 19, 2019 - Use of synthetic psychedelic linked to improvements in depression and anxiety
March 19, 2019 - GARP protein can be a potential target for immunotherapy against colorectal cancer
March 19, 2019 - Knee Pain Not Tied to Activity Levels in Knee Osteoarthritis
March 19, 2019 - Study shows benefits of delayed cord clamping in healthy babies
Early intervention needed to help breast cancer patients manage ‘chemobrain’ symptoms

Early intervention needed to help breast cancer patients manage ‘chemobrain’ symptoms

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

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 years – many patients acquire cognitive toxicities known as chemobrain. These toxicities can dramatically affect patients’ quality of life.

“Early treatment for breast cancer patients usually involves intensive therapy – this means that patients are exposed to high levels of chemotherapy drugs, and they are also at higher risk of long-term side effects. After treatment, we need to manage survivorship issues. However, the clinical presentation of cognitive toxicities remain poorly understood,” explained Assoc Prof Chan.

To examine the impact of chemobrain on breast cancer patients, Assoc Prof Chan and his team studied patients with Stages I to III breast cancer. The patients were evaluated at four time points – prior to the start of chemotherapy; six weeks after chemotherapy started; 12 weeks after chemotherapy started; and approximately 15 months after the start of chemotherapy.

Both subjective and objective measures were used to assess cognitive decline. For the former, patients were asked whether they faced difficulty in areas such as concentration, memory, multitasking and verbal fluency, using a validated questionnaire. The patients were also evaluated on their attention, memory, mental processing speed and speed of response using a computer-based software.

The researchers found that almost half of the respondents suffered from some degree of cognitive impairment during treatment and up to one year post-treatment. About 30 per cent complained of cognitive impairment one year after chemotherapy. In addition, a year after undergoing chemotherapy, 15 per cent of the participants were objectively assessed to suffer from memory challenges, and close to 10 per cent experienced issues with response speed. These results were first reported in the journal Psychooncology earlier this year.

Breast cancer survivor Ms Chan Yoke, who is a graphic designer, can attest to cognitive impairment as a result of chemotherapy. In 2015, Ms Chan went through 16 sessions of chemotherapy, along with radiotherapy, as part of her treatment for breast cancer. She said, “I became forgetful after chemotherapy started. I would walk from the kitchen to a room to get something, but once I reached the room, I would not able to recall what I wanted.”

About three years after the start of her chemotherapy, Ms Chan still grapples with the after-effects of her cancer treatment. She shared that her memory did not go back to what it was like before she had cancer, and her thought processes are also slower than they were prior to the start of her chemotherapy treatment.

Early screening and intervention programs needed

The results of this study draw attention to the difficulties faced by breast cancer survivors after completion of active treatment, when they begin to resume their societal roles. The findings also highlight the importance of raising awareness about cognitive impairment among breast cancer patients, so that they can be better prepared for the changes they will experience during treatment and survivorship.

“A well-rounded holistic survivorship program will be very useful for cancer patients and survivors. More importantly, we should actively screen and manage patients at risk of cognitive impairment. This is extremely important as we are expecting to see an increasing number of cancer survivors in Singapore, and cognitive impairment can bring significant negative impact to survivors’ quality of life,” said Assoc Prof Chan.

Researchers from the National Cancer Centre Singapore and KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital also contributed to the study, which was conducted from 2011 to 2017.

Building on the knowledge gained from this study, Assoc Prof Chan and his team are studying the biomechanisms behind post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment. The researchers will also evaluate the effectiveness of various interventions for managing chemobrain symptoms.

Source:

http://news.nus.edu.sg/press-releases/early-chemobrain-intervention-needed

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles