Researchers at the prestigious Moffitt Cancer Center reviewed existing studies regarding the impact chemotherapy has on cognitive function in cancer patients. They discovered that while chemotherapy is often part of the standard treatment for most forms of cancer, the long term effects of this treatment can have substantial effects on a patient’s thinking abilities.
Study Shows Patients Lose Cognitive Abilities
Cancer is a devastating illness. For many cancer patients, doctors may initially tell them that surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment are the recommended methods of treatment to rid their body of the illness and prevent it from recurring. However, few doctors talk about the long term impact of these treatments.
According to Moffitt Center researchers, women who have undergone chemotherapy frequently report varying levels of difficulty with verbal capacity, such as finding and choosing words, and visuospacial abilities, such as getting easily lost. Study participants had undergone a standard dose of chemotherapy at least six months before being tested and had finished chemotherapy treatment. Diminished capacity ranged from mild to severe, with some patients reporting no cognitive difficulties at all.
While doctors may believe they have your best interests at heart when recommending treatment for cancer, frequently they fail to consider the emotional and behavioral changes that may result from surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment. In fact, many researchers are now suggesting that these approaches to treating cancer may not be the most effective, encouraging patients to research alternative treatments before making a decision on how to best address their illness.
There are a wide variety of natural alternatives to cancer treatment that do not cause cognitive impairment. For example, nutritional therapies increase immune system function, allowing the body to naturally kill off cancer cells and fight body toxins. Naturopathic treatment provides supplements to help the body strengthen its natural cancer fighting capacity. Pain management methods allow you to use your mind to redirect energy without using harmful and debilitating narcotic medications. Mind-Body medicine holistically integrates methods to improve physical, psychological and spiritual functioning.
Chemotherapy may be the conventional method of treating cancer, but it may not always be the best approach. Talk to your doctor about the potential long term effects treatment may have on you and decide for yourself if there are better ways to treat your illness.
– The Alternative Daily