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Could Breast Cancer Treatment Result in Cognitive Problems?

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The chemotherapy and radiation that helps to save patients' lives comes with their own costs, and not all of them are physical. Breast cancer survivors have more to worry about than a return of the disease.
A new online analysis in the journal Cancer, published by the American Cancer Society, finds they may have problems with some mental abilities years after treatment.
The authors compared women who were treated with chemotherapy and radiation, women who were treated with radiation only and women with no history of cancer. They confirmed previous research that chemotherapy can cause problems with memory and concentration up to three years after treatment ends.
But those who got radiation only often had problems similar to those who received both chemotherapy and radiation -- suggesting chemotherapy isn't solely to blame for these side effects.
The study found no evidence of cognitive problems from hormonal therapy such as tamoxifen.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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