Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Life After Chemotherapy: Daily Tasks, Quality Of Life May Be Affected, Researcher Finds

Date:
July 23, 2009
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
A new study reveals that, following chemotherapy, mild decreases in skills, such as verbal fluency and problem-solving ability, affect the quality of life for cancer survivors.

Each day, thousands of people undergo chemotherapy treatments for different types of cancer, and it is widely known that patients are negatively affected during the treatments; previous research has shown decreases in cognitive functioning among cancer survivors following treatment. However, scientists were unsure how these cognitive declines might affect daily tasks or quality of life when the treatments ceased.

A new study at the University of Missouri reveals that, following chemotherapy, mild decreases in skills, such as verbal fluency and problem-solving ability, affect the quality of life for cancer survivors.

"These aren't huge deficits in cognitive functioning, but now that we are aware of these lingering effects, we can do something to help these patients," said Stephanie Reid-Arndt, an assistant professor of health psychology in the MU School of Health Professions. "After treatment, it isn't that you are severely impaired, but you might experience some mild weaknesses. Our next step is to examine some specific interventions and see which ones might help with these difficulties."

During the study, Reid-Arndt, and her colleague, Michael Perry, a professor in the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology in the MU School of Medicine, studied women who had been treated with chemotherapy for breast cancer. The researchers tested the women three times during the year following their chemotherapy treatments. The scientists evaluated neuropsychological functioning, self-reported cognitive difficulties, fatigue, the amount of social support they sought, depression, and the quality of life experienced by the breast cancer survivors.

While some of the findings affirmed older research, such as how fatigue and a lack of social support are important predictors for poor quality of life, Reid-Arndt identified two measures of daily cognitive functioning that seemed to affect quality of life. Verbal fluency, such as the ability to recall certain words when necessary, and self-reports of problems with memory concentration were indicators of poor daily functioning and poor quality of life among patients.

"It was a small, but significant percentage of breast cancer survivors that were reporting these problems in the study," Reid-Arndt said. "The daily difficulties related to these problems tend to be mild, but these findings tell us that these women are experiencing cognitive problems that may be a source of stress."

Over the length of the study, Reid-Arndt and Perry did see improved cognitive functioning in each of the areas assessed. In her next study, Reid-Arndt hopes to identify specific interventions that could benefit patients experiencing these challenges. Some of those interventions might include the use of pharmaceuticals or cognitive behavior techniques, such as relaxation training and the use of a daily planner to relieve the stress of remembering various daily details. According to Reid-Arndt, the answer will be determined when an intervention helps these patients to manage their lives better.

"It would be helpful, if a patient is going to have chemotherapy, to discuss potential side effects with a doctor and be ready with a plan in case she does experience these cognitive difficulties," Reid-Arndt said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Life After Chemotherapy: Daily Tasks, Quality Of Life May Be Affected, Researcher Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090722142900.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2009, July 23). Life After Chemotherapy: Daily Tasks, Quality Of Life May Be Affected, Researcher Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090722142900.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Life After Chemotherapy: Daily Tasks, Quality Of Life May Be Affected, Researcher Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090722142900.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins