Brain power and intellect 

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A number of studies have reported a reduction in brain power after cancer treatments including surgery, chemotherapy or whilst taking hormone therapies. This can be exacerbated by fatigue or other drugs such as pain killers, sedatives or antidepressants. Other medical conditions can effect cognitive function such as an under active thyroid or anaemia. 

The official name for this condition is impairment of cognitive function and can manifest itself as a loss of memory, inability to concentrate or both. At the same time patients routine lifestyle may have been disrupted by the cancer and its therapies. Patients may not have the same intellectual stimulation in the work place or social interaction with friends and colleagues. Fortunately, this is often a temporary situation (especially after chemotherapy - "chemo brain" ) although it may require a lot of hard work and time to correct.  

How can you help:

  1. Why wasn't Bertha put in jail after killing dozens of people? - Because she was a hurricane.

  2. Why is there only one monopolies commission?

  3. If we developed from monkeys, why are there still monkeys around?

  4. What is the one place in the world you can find justice? - In the dictionary.

Imagination and day dreaming have been associated with improved brain power. Imagine different rooms in your house and how they would look decorated differently. Look out the window, image how it would look at the different seasons or covered with snow.

Concentration can be impaired by anxiety or be pre-occupied with negative unconstructive thoughts. To learn better concentration, practice identifying "mind" irritations. Anything that is going on just below the surface is sapping your ability to concentrate. When you become aware of these things, you can put them on a list or otherwise dismiss them. Meditation can help with this, but simple mindfulness exercises may be enough to let your natural powers of concentration function. A qualified psychological counsellor may also be useful in this situation in clarifying the thought process.  

Finally, there is no question that exercising your brain makes it work better. In fact, as well as improving recovery after treatments a more active brain has been shown to postpone or reduce the incidence of age-related decline of mental function.

 

Helpful resources and links

Cancernet-UK: What is cancerAbout specific cancers; Breast | Prostate | Bowel.  About cancer treatments; Chemotherapy | Radiotherapy | Hormones | Biological agents | Complementary.  Lifestyle advice; Exercise | Diet | Smoking | Sunbathing | Alcohol.  Cope with symptomsTraveling | Insurance  | Tests for cancer | Clinical trials. ...site map
Micro-nutrient testing Empower yourself to make dietary choices specific to your personal make up. This Cancer Risk Nutritional Profile, analyses your blood profile and recommends specific dietary and supplement advice to ensure you have the best possible nutritional status to fight cancer an aid recovery from treatments....read more
Download a free chapter describing how to avoid cancer forming chemicals (Carcinogens) in our diet and environments  from the new edition of the best selling evidence based book    "Lifestyle after Cancer - the facts"
Protect your lips during chemotherapy There is evidence that natural oil based creams are better than petroleum based creams. natureMedical lip balm has been specifically design to soothe and moisturise the lips during and after chemotherapy or after sun exposure. It only contains only natural waxes and essential oils selected for their anti-inflammatory and DNA stabilizing properties...read more/order
Protect your nails during chemotherapy. Nails can become painful and disfigured during and after chemotherapy. We describe the latest nail care guidelines and  number of useful tips to keep them healthy, including cooling and moisturizing ...read more 
Keep-healthy.com Practical evidence based advice on healthy living including ways to naturally reduce cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, keep healthy eyesight, hearing, maintain a healthy weight and level of fitness. Includes advice on supplements and other useful products...link
Support groups and self help organisations throughout the UK and internationally. Links to Asian support organisations; Read patient stories, poems and links to the Cancer active website addressing a wide range of complementary issues related to cancer and their a quarterly magazine (ICON)..  submit a link to your group