Dayton Physicians Network

Chemo Brain is Real

Jill Reese, RN, BSN, OCN


Chemo Brain is Real.




Have you heard of the term chemo brain or chemo fog and wondered exactly what that meant? Or if chemo brain truly was something real? Unfortunately chemo brain is real as there has been research over the years that have shown that chemotherapy, and radiation, can impact one’s memory.

Patient’s notice that they do not remember things quite as well, have difficulty concentrating on a particular task, or find they have a short attention span. Some notice this before treatment even begins. These changes may be subtle to family and friends, but the person experiencing chemo brain is aware that their way of thinking has changed. This definitely can impact one’s quality of life.

Fortunately, there is research being done on how to prevent it along with strategies on how to cope with chemo brain. If you, or someone you love, are experiencing chemo brain there are ways to help manage it and to keep your brain active.


  • Exercising all areas of your brain is helpful so try to work through a cross word or Sudoku daily.
  • Manage your stress
  • Ensure that you get a full night’s sleep
  • Avoid distraction when working on a task
  • Be organized
  • Keep a journal
  • Write yourself a reminder
  • Exercise

Do not hesitate to ask a loved one for help!  Also, ask that they be patient with your questions or information you may ask to be repeated. Please let your Oncologist know that you are experiencing chemo brain as they may have additional advice for you.  For more information about chemo brain and other topics, please visit www.Cancer.net

At Dayton Physicians Network we strive to be sure you know everything about your condition.  We offer you education, information and resources to help you understand diagnosis and treatment.


We’re here for you.