Many cancer patients have to go through chemotherapy in their battle against zest zapping cancer. Often their agony does not end with the treatment. Many patients complain of unprecedented memory loss or alterations in abilities pertaining to learning, judgement and comprehension .This seemingly 'fuzzy' experience is also termed as 'chemobrain' in medical jargon.
New research has found that these uncomfortable symptoms that trouble a cancer patient will definitely fade away, in about three years following treatment.
In the past, researchers had pointed out that the cognitive imbalances are the side effects of chemotherapy .Scientists could not however pinpoint what was the reason for such a breakdown in normal cognitive abilities.
Dr. Masatoshi Inagaki led the research that was conducted at the National Cancer Center Hospital East in Japan. The researchers compared the structure of brain in normal healthy individuals and the brain structure of patients who have recently undergone chemotherapy. They looked at various regions of the human brain, in about 105 cancer survivors who underwent surgery in the past one year. 50% of the patients had undergone chemotherapy and the rest had not. They found out, on comparison that the patients who underwent chemotherapy suffered shrinkage in volume of the part of brain concerned with cognitive abilities.
A similar comparison was drawn between two groups of cancer patients who had undergone surgery to treat cancer, 3 years ago. One group had undergone chemotherapy whist the other group had not.
The researchers showed that the the group which underwent chemotherapy suffered anatomical changes, that automatically disappeared in due course of time. This was noted when they came for review after 3 years following surgery.
There seemed to be no significant variation in anatomy of brain, in the cancer survivors, three years later when compared to brain structures of healthy individuals.
The researchers cautioned that more research will have to be done to corroborate these findings. However this research has definitely set the stage, for more innovative methods to be ushered in, that will assure a better quality of life for cancer survivors.