Findings from a new study may help to explain “chemo brain”, the memory and concentration difficulties experienced by cancer survivors who have undergone chemotherapy. Researchers at UCLA compared PET scans of 21 women who had surgery to remove breast tumors in the last five to 10 years, 16 of which had received chemotherapy.
The research team gave the women short-term memory tests during the scans, and found that the women who had been treated with chemotherapy regimens had changes in the way the frontal cortex functioned, the area associated with memory, and had to work harder to remember information on the memory tests.
The study findings indicated that chemotherapy causes changes in the brain’s metabolism and blood flow that can last at long as 10 years after treatment. The study appears in the Oct. 5 online edition of the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. Chemo brain affects an estimated 25 percent of chemotherapy patients.
Acupuncture can reduce many of the symptoms associated with cancer and cancer treatment. Patients who use acupuncture in conjunction with a chemotherapy regimen can better tolerate treatment and experience fewer side effects. Acupuncture is often used to reduce fatigue from chemotherapy and relieve cancer pain.
Chinese anti cancer herb formulas, in combination with acupuncture, can be used to relieve nausea in chemotherapy patients who are unable to tolerate standard analgesic medications. Formulas may be composed of a foundation base of herbs including: ganoderma, radix ginseng, cordyceps sinensis, radix astragali membranaceus, radix angelicae sinensis, and fructus lycii, all of which are immune-stimulating agents that have been shown to enhance the body’s defense mechanisms. For further information contact Dr. Browne at 305-595-9500