Chemo brain – it exists and is terribly debilitating

Dr. Weeks’ Comment:  “Chemo brain”  is rarely described as a probable side-effect of chemotherapy when patients are discussing their options are told of the risks and benefits. Typically, my patients who have had chemotherapy report never being told that their memory and cognitive function may be damaged  by the treatment.  Now the science is clear that chemo brain happens and is avoidable.  In addition, once damaged, there are options to repair the neurons so if you have chemo brain, ask your doctor to help you regain your cognitive function.


From: Dr. Robert J. Rowen’s Second Opinion September 21, 2012 When treating cancer can destroy your neurons

If you have cancer and don’t want to end up with dementia too, then be careful about how you treat your cancer. Turns out one treatment in particular destroys your neurons.

For years, medicine has taught that chemotherapy targets only dividing cells. Since your brain is considered stable, and slow to produce new cells, medicine considers it relatively immune from the toxic chemicals. But new research out of Indiana University adds to the growing list of toxicity caused by chemo.

This study actually verifies a new condition called “chemobrain.” The study admits that chemo can damage the grey matter (neuron cell bodies) in your brain – and it can be permanent damage. Many people lose cognitive function and can’t ever return to work even if they survive the treatment.

Instead of helping to treat cancer, chemotherapy destroys the only thing that even has a chance at preventing it: the immune system. And your oncologist knows it. The McGill Cancer Center in Canada surveyed oncologists. Ninety-one percent said that “all chemotherapy programs are unacceptable to them and their family members.”

So why is the horrific practice continuing even when oncologists won’t sample their own wares? Follow the money trail. Chemo treatment is extremely expensive generating lots of cash for the doctors who won’t take it themselves. It’s even more profitable for Pharma companies who have a virtual monopoly on cancer treatment in America. And it’s a treatment that’s extremely dangerous, and virtually ineffective.

Unless you have particular types of cancer, like blood dyscrasias, testicular cancer, lymphomas (where chemo can be effective), I could never recommend you consider chemo. While you might hear the early detection and chemo treatment of breast cancer saves lives, studies prove this is false. You see, 20% of all breast cancers are relatively benign. So if you happen to survive the horror of chemo, it doesn’t mean that it helped you. It simply might indicate that your cancer was in that rather large group of non-lethal cancer.

If you have cancer and are considering chemo, please see an integrative physician for nutritional protection. I can never tell a cancer patient that my recommendations will save them from the cancer. However, I can virtually promise them that they will have a far higher quality of life (and likely longer) if they incorporate integrative therapies with or without toxic and worthless conventional cancer therapy. I know many patients who have managed to keep their cancer at bay and they never took a toxic drug or radiation!

Yours for better health and medical freedom,

Robert J. Rowen, MD

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