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Breast. 2005 Apr;14(2):142-50.

The effects of adjuvant chemotherapy on cognition in women with breast cancer--preliminary results of an observational longitudinal study.

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  • 1Cancer Research UK Psychosocial Oncology Group, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex, Falmer, East Sussex BN1 9QG, UK.


Several studies have reported that chemotherapy-treated patients have impaired cognition function relative to control groups. We are conducting a longitudinal study with cognitive assessments at baseline, 6 and 18 months. A planned preliminary analysis of data from 50 chemotherapy patients and 43 healthy controls at baseline and post-treatment found a significant group by time interaction on three measures of verbal and working memory. Chemotherapy patients were more likely to show cognitive decline than controls (OR 2.25). Patients were significantly more likely to have GHQ(12) scores indicative of possible psychological morbidity and showed significant increases in endocrine symptoms and fatigue post-treatment however neither GHQ(12) nor quality-of-life variables were related to cognitive performance.

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