- Question from Shadie: How can I find out if I am genetically at risk for developing neurocognitive symptoms?
- Answers - Christina Meyers There is no way right now. We're just starting those studies, and we're looking at DNA, metabolizing genes, genes that might make someone more prone to dementia in later life. We're looking at all sorts of things, but we're just starting so there is zero information right now. If we can identify who will or will not have problems, the search for personalized medicine will go to the next level.
- George Sledge, M.D. This raises an important point — the best way to avoid any toxicity is to not receive the drug that causes toxicity. One of the major changes that has occurred in breast cancer in recent years is the attempt as a result of genomic technology to determine which women do and do not benefit from chemotherapy. So my hope is that the burden of chemo brain will be decreased in the future by decreasing the number of women who are being attacked with certain chemotherapy agents.
- Christina Meyers That's closer to the chemo brain point — who will benefit from chemotherapy?
- George Sledge, M.D. We've made huge changes in the last few years in lymph-node-negative tumors, estrogen-receptor-positive tumors. I probably administer half as much chemotherapy as I did 4 years ago.
- Christina Meyers And that is a huge advantage.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Managing Chemo Brain featured Christina Meyers, Ph.D., A.B.P.P. and George Sledge, M.D. answering your questions about how long chemo brain can last, what treatments can be helpful, and current research on cognitive effects of breast cancer treatment.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in October 2008.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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