Is “brain fog” a side-effect of hormone therapy or chemo?


Community Answers
  • Doug Sparling moderator
    4 months ago

    Yes, “brain fog” (chemo brain) is a very real thing. I found chemo to mainly have caused some cognitive impairment (forgetfulness for one), where as Lupron (ADT/Androgen Depravation Therapy, also called hormone treatment) has had more of an effect on my executive functioning. Things like managing time, inability to plan, problems switching focus and multitasking (OMG, I’m horrible at it) has been what I’ve experienced to date. I’m part of a clinical trial that’s studying the effects of Lupron on bone density, muscle mass, and cognitive functioning. I’m also separate cognitive testing in a few days. It will be more focused and time intensive than the test in the clinical trial. So short answer – yes, brain fog is not unusual.

  • Richard Faust moderator
    4 months ago

    Thanks for writing Doug. Best of luck with the trial and the cognitive testing. If you like, feel free to update us on how you are doing. Best, Richard (ProstateCancer.net Team)

  • Len Smith moderator
    7 months ago

    Brian, it’s also a sign of just getting older. But I’m with my daughter (a pediatrician and my “baby” at almost 49) and her family. As most people are aware, most doctors have phenomenal memories, and she sure does, to say the least. But a couple days before I came down, she got a coffee out and ordered a sandwich for her older son who was playing tennis. And then she walked out with just her coffee. (I think she just wanted to make me feel good. 🙂 Len Smith ProstateCancer.net Moderator

  • Len Smith moderator
    7 months ago

    Okay, match this guys. I’ve been riding my bike about 7,000 miles a year since 1995 when I’m not going thru radiation or open heart surgery. But Patti and I moved to a 55+ community in Atlantic County, NJ 20 months ago, where the traffic designers think the road shoulders mean the white line on the side, i.e., i won’t ride here with cars going by 1 to 2 feet away at times at 60 mph or so.So i go to one of two parks somewhat south of here where they have nice, wide shoulders. Saturday, I pumped up my road bike tires in the garage and took out my helmet, riding gloves, etc. to the car. And I noticed Patti’s tailgate was open, which reminded me I had promised to take the 3 bags of mulch she’d just bought to the back yard, which I did. I then jumped in my car and went to the larger park; used the bathroom; and opened the tailgate on my car. It was at that point I realized i had everything in the car for a nice 90 minute bike ride except my bike. Now that’s brain fog :). Len Smith ProstateCancer.net Moderator

  • Richard Faust moderator
    7 months ago

    I don’t know Len. Sometimes when I’m helping my wife with stuff I forget all kinds of things and I’m the one without a condition or medications that might cause brain fog :). That said, brain fog is very real. My wife gets it from an autoimmune condition and the accompanying medications (one of which is also used for certain cancers). Best, Richard (ProstateCancer.net Team)

  • BrianM.Green moderator author
    7 months ago

    Cognitive issues (sometimes called “brain fog”) is commonly talked about as a potential side effect of chemotherapy. It can also be a side effect of long-term hormone therapy. These cognitive issues can include forgetting things, feeling like your thinking is “slower,” feeling confused, disorganized, less “sharp.” More information on this, including tips for dealing with “brain fog” is coming soon.

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