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Your Brain After Chemo – Book Review

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


Updated November 04, 2009

Your Brain After Chemo

Your Brain After Chemo

Image © The Perseus Books Group

The Bottom Line

Your Brain After Chemo is all about chemobrain – a very real side effect that can linger long after chemotherapy, and affects many breast cancer patients. Written by a breast cancer survivor and a scientist of brain chemistry, Your Brain After Chemo is a must-read for any cancer patient. Loaded with jargon-free explanations of how the brain works, and changes that can occur during chemo, the authors include many practical tips and suggestions for recovering your mental edge.
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  • Very well written - crisp prose
  • Maintains the patient's perspective of chemobrain
  • Brain science presented carefully and clearly
  • Coping strategies and tips are practical and acheivable
  • Text is well-organized and compelling


  • Only one illustration of a brain
  • There are no images of brain PET scans


  • Authors: Idelle Davidson and Daniel Silverman, MD, PhD
  • Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong Books
  • ISBN-10: 0738212598
  • Copyright: July 2009
  • List Price: $25.00
  • Book Details: Hardcover, 304 pages
  • Web Site: Your Brain After Chemo

Guide Review - Your Brain After Chemo – Book Review

Idelle Davidson is a breast cancer survivor and award-winning health journalist. In this book, Your Brain After Chemo, she teams up with Dr. Daniel Silverman, head of Neuronuclear Imaging at Ahmanson Biological Imaging and on the faculty at UCLA. Ms. Davidson starts the book off with a bang, giving you her story of shock at diagnosis, her immersion into radiation, her participation in a 2005 Herceptin treatment program, and her emotional ride through chemotherapy and chemobrain. Chemobrain, sometimes called chemo fog, is a common side effect (one of many) from taking drugs that fight cancer. Chemo can affect your brain, causing temporary problems with memory and concentration. Many patients discuss these symptoms with their oncologist or their infusion nurses, but more than half of all patients' pleas for help are met with indifference, a dismissive attitude, or no advice on how to cope.

Your Brain After Chemo – A Practical Guide to Lifting the Fog and Getting Back Your Focus – presents research that documents how the lingering effects of chemobrain impact many patients, and gives the reader an "evidence-based how-to manual for people facing the prospect of the reality of a decline in thinking abilities after cancer and chemotherapy." Filled with personal stories from many cancer survivors, the authors present many long-term strategies that anyone can use to start recovering from chemobrain. Included is a daily nine-step program that should boost your brain functioning over time. You will learn how and why to sleep well, watch your diet, be careful of what you drink, do regular exercise, monitor your mood, and stay healthy. As your memory and other strategic thinking processes return, you will feel better about yourself and regain confidence.

Chemobrain is not just all in your head, and you can do something about recovering your mental acuity. Reading Your Brain After Chemo is a good way to start your recovery.

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