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Written By Walter Leonard 12/5/2015
Causes
It's not clear what causes signs and symptoms of memory problems in cancer survivors.
Cancer-related causes could include:
Cancer
A cancer diagnosis can be quite stressful in itself and this can cause memory problems
Certain cancers can produce chemicals that affect memory
Cancer treatments
Chemotherapy
Hormone therapy
Immunotherapy
Radiation therapy
Stem cell transplant
Surgery
Complications of cancer treatment
Anemia
Fatigue
Infection
Menopause or other hormonal changes (caused by cancer treatment)
Nutritional deficiencies
Sleep problems, such as insomnia
Pain due to cancer treatments
Emotional reactions to cancer diagnosis and treatment
Anxiety
Depression
Stress
Other causes
Inherited susceptibility to chemo brain
Medications for other cancer-related signs and symptoms, such as pain medications
Recurrent cancer that has spread to the brain
Risk factors
Factors that may increase the risk of memory problems in cancer survivors include:
Brain cancer
Chemotherapy is given directly to the central nervous system
Chemotherapy combined with whole-brain radiation
Higher doses of chemotherapy or radiation
Radiation therapy to the brain
Younger age at the time of cancer diagnosis and treatment
Increasing age