What Happens Before Chemotherapy?! Neuro-anatomical and -functional MRI Investigations of the Pre-chemotherapy Breast Cancer Brain.

Title: What Happens Before Chemotherapy?! Neuro-anatomical and -functional MRI Investigations of the Pre-chemotherapy Breast Cancer Brain.
Authors: Scherling, Carole Susan
Date: 2011
Abstract: The side-effects of chemotherapy treatment are an increasingly important research focus as more cancer patients are reaching survivorship. While treatment allows for survival, it can also lead to problems which can significantly affect quality of life. Cognitive impairments after chemotherapy treatment are one such factor. First presented as anecdotal patient reports, over the last decade empirical evidence for this cognitive concern has been obtained. Much attention has been focused on post-chemotherapy research, yet little attention has been granted to these same patients’ cognition before treatment commences. Breast cancer (BC) patients face many obstacles before chemotherapy treatment such as: surgery and side-effects of anesthesia, increased cytokine activity, stress of a new disease diagnosis and upcoming challenges, and emotional burdens such as depression and anxiety. Many of these factors have independently been shown to affect cognitive abilities in both healthy populations as well as other patient groups. Therefore, the pre-treatment (or baseline) BC patient status warrants systematic study. This would then reduce mistakenly attributing carried-over cognitive deficits to side effects of chemotherapy. As well, it is possible that certain confounding variables may have neural manifestations at baseline that could be exacerbated by chemotherapy agents. The following thesis first presents a review paper which critically describes the current literature examining chemotherapy-related cognitive impairments (CRCIs), as well as possible confound variables affecting this population. Subsequently, three original research papers present pre-chemotherapy data showing significant neuroanatomical and neurofunctional differences in BC patients compared to controls. In particular, these neural differences are present in brain regions that have been reported in post-chemotherapy papers. This, as well as the effects of variables such as the number of days since surgery, depression and anxiety scores and more, support the initiative that research attention should increase focus on these patients at baseline in order to better understand their post-chemotherapy results.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/20398
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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