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'Chemo fog' - lack of concentration


Some interesting research has been done at British Columbia University recently suggesting that 'Chemo fog', or 'Chemo brain' as it is sometimes known is a real after effect of treatment.

The cognitive effects of the cancer treatment have long been suspected, but the UBC study is the first to explain why patients have difficulty paying attention.

On facebook some of our patients have been discussing their experiences with this;


Is this something you've noticed about yourself or your family member since their treatment? Is there anything you found helped to focus your concentration?



  • Hi Billie,

    I was one of the people who commented, but to expand on my comments on Facebook I'm glad there's some recognition of this being a genuine condition. I've often heard people refer to 'chemo brain', and have been known to use it myself when I'm struggling to think of a word or remember something. The worst is when I see someone I know but can't remember their name!

    I wouldn't say I have any difficulty concentrating on something, and having returned to work fully recently I'm glad to find that I can actually get quite engrossed in some of my work and almost lose track of time once I get going. I guess for someone who is expecting to go back to work that could be a worrying effect of chemo so I'm glad that in my case it doesn't seem to have affected my ability to work.

    A friend of mine on Facebook commented that some of the treatments for things such as dementia might work to stimulate the brain. That sounds like it makes sense and I wonder whether anyone has tried anything to help. I'm not a great one for learning new things, but perhaps something like phone apps that have mind stimulating puzzles might work?

    How has 'Chemo Brain' affected others and has anyone found anything that helps?

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