Quit your griping, ladies — you’re lucky to be alive!
Infuriating? You’re darned right it is… yet that’s what dopey docs tell women all the time when they complain about the side effects of breast cancer treatments.
Some of them even have the gall to tell you that it’s all in your head!
Now, the latest research confirms what you’ve read time and time again right here in the Daily Dose: “Chemo brain” is all too real, and it can mess you up for YEARS.
In the study, mice given chemo failed at one of the things mice do best (besides making more mice).
They struggled to find their way through a maze.
Imagine that? Mice brains are practically wired to do that little trick because it’s how they survive — how they find your food, steal it, get back to their burrow and then come back for more the next day.
But when chemo entered the picture, that basic wiring short-circuited — not just right after the treatment, but three months later.
That’s the equivalent of TEN YEARS in human terms!
Once they hacked open the mice’s brains, they found that getting chemo was like dropping the A-bomb on brain cells. It wiped out the critical neurons you need to fire up as part of your thought and memory processes.
The chemo mice had 26 percent fewer surviving hippocampal neurons created while they were being treated, and 14 percent fewer neurons generated in the months that followed.
It’s as if part of the brain factory was knocked offline… maybe permanently!
This was obviously a study on mice, not humans. We can’t exactly hack human brains open anytime we want to check the damage (but if anyone from PETA wants to volunteer, I won’t stand in your way).
But we’ve got plenty of human studies that show the REAL and LASTING effects of chemo brain.
Research published just a couple of years ago that used MRIs to check for brain activity found women who had chemo couldn’t switch on the parts needed for focus and recall.
Clearly, chemo brain is all too real — and any doc who now doubts it should put HIMSELF through this poisonous “therapy” to see how he feels!
Fact is, most docs won’t.
A survey a few years back found a stunning 58 out of 79 cancer docs wouldn’t put themselves through the living hell of chemo if they ever got cancer themselves.
So if your doc is pushing for chemo, make like a doc and push back — because odds are, you don’t need it.
You’ve got other options, including in some cases the option to do nothing at all, as the “watch and wait” approach can work for low-risk tumors.
Be sure to get a second and even third opinion so you know ALL your options.