When it comes to chemotherapy, we all evolve.
Many years ago (more like decades, actually) I assumed chemotherapy was a cure. I think many of us were hopeful that it would be.
But as time went by, I was distraught to see the horrible effects of chemo on family and friends.
Eventually, I realized that it’s a treatment, not a cure. In fact, the number of chemo-responsive cancers is surprisingly small. Too often, doctors give chemo inappropriately to patients who don’t need it.
More recently, we’ve also learned that chemo can cause secondary cancers. New evidence shows that it may even cause some cancers to grow faster.
Can it get any worse?
It can. But don’t expect to hear it from your doctor. He might not even know about the condition some patients call “chemobrain.”
Chemobrain the brain drain
Chemobrain is more formally known as post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment (PCCI). World renowned alternative health expert, Dr. Alan Spreen, recently sent me a tip sheet on how to talk to your doctor about PCCI.
Dr. Spreen explains that the mainstream now admits that the drugs can harm your brain. However, they tell you patients that the doctors may not be familiar with it. This leaves the patient to educate his or her oncologist about the symptoms of chemobrain.
The sad thing is that most cancer patients, and many of their doctors, have never heard of this chemo side effect. This is a holdover from the days when doctors told patients that they were just imagining their post-chemo brain fog.
They weren’t imagining.
But it IS “all in your head.”
In 2006, a ground-breaking study used PET scans to prove that chemo poses a risk to cognition. This happens in two ways. After crossing the blood brain barrier, these toxic drugs alter brain metabolism and reduce blood flow in the brain.
Ready for the kicker? Researchers have found measureable adverse cognitive effects more than TWO DECADES after treatment.
Cognitive problems include attention deficit, immediate and delayed verbal memory, and processing speed.
Of course, doctors have thrown all types of drugs at the problem. They’ve tried drugs that treat Alzheimer’s, anaemia, and narcolepsy. So far, none of them has worked.
But there is one study that shows promise. It will make medical mainstreamers howl. But what I care about is that it’s likely to cause cheers from cancer patients.
I’ll tell you all about it in the next alert.
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Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
“Doctor, Can We Talk About Chemobrain?” Chemotherapy Advisor, 8/27/12, chemotherapyadvisor.com
“Scientists Find ‘Chemo Brain’ No Figment Of The Imagination” Science Daily, 10/8/06, sciencedaily.com
“‘Chemo brain’ linked to neurobiological mechanism” HemOnc Today, 5/10/12, healio.com
“Too Much Sweating? Apply Heat” Laura Johannes, Wall St. Journal, 8/13/12, online.wsj.com