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Talk therapy eases chemo brain effects

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mainsailset View Drop Down
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    Posted: May 04 2016 at 2:50pm

For both groups, the sessions were conducted via videoconference to minimize patients' travel time. Participants also completed thinking tests and answered questionnaires about their memory issues and related anxiety. Verbal memory and processing speed was also tested.

Participants were retested after completing all eight sessions and again two months later.

The CBT participants reported significantly fewer memory problems and better processing speed than those who received supportive therapy, according to the study published online May 2 in the journal CANCER. They also reported much less anxiety about mental problems two months after their psychotherapy ended.

"This is what we believe is the first randomized study with an active control condition that demonstrates improvement in cognitive symptoms in breast cancer survivors with long-term memory complaints," said study leader Robert Ferguson in a journal news release. He is currently at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

"Participants reported reduced anxiety and high satisfaction with this cognitive-behavioral, non-drug approach," Ferguson said. Also, because treatment was delivered via videoconference device, he said the study demonstrates it's possible "to improve access to survivorship care."

Edited by mainsailset - May 04 2016 at 2:51pm
dx 7/08 TN 14x6.5x5.5 cm tumor

3 Lymph nodes involved, Taxol/Sunitab+AC, 5/09 dbl masectomy, path 2mm tumor removed, lymphs all clear, RAD 32 finished 9/11/09. 9/28 CT clear 10/18/10 CT clear
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123Donna View Drop Down
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The cancer center I went to for radiation with my recurrence offered free counseling to cancer patients and their families.  I met several times with a therapist (psychologist).  They believed cognitive therapy helped cancer patients better than medication.  We worked on my anxiety, insomnia and other issues of going through cancer twice, losing friends to this disease, taking care of a parent with alzheimer's, PTSD.  It made a huge difference in my life and gave me the tools for practicing mindfulness, meditation and redirecting your thoughts.  It was nice that they "got it" and understood what we go through.  It's a good idea to see if your cancer center offers such a service or maybe a Cancer Support Community in your area.  

DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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