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Breast cancer survivors 'have reduced cognitive functions'

Breast cancer survivors 'have reduced cognitive functions'
15th November 2011

Survivors of breast cancer show significant neurological impairment, according to a report from Stanford University.

Researchers assert that while breast cancer is not traditionally associated with neurological problems, a growing body of evidence suggests that patients are at an increased risk of decreased cognitive function.

Moreover, those patients treated with chemotherapy have significantly greater altered brain structure and function than those who received alternative treatments.

Dr Shelli R. Kesler, lead author on the study, stated: "Women with breast cancer demonstrated significantly reduced activation in the left middle dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and premotor cortex compared with healthy controls."

A 2008 study claims that stress of the diagnosis may be to blame for women who experience neurological impairment after having breast cancer.

Subjects were tested on their cognitive abilities and were evaluated for anxiety, depression and overall quality of life.

The study found that those under stress were more likely to experience cognitive impairment, rather than those who had chemotherapy.

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