Breast cancer survivors are at increased risk for cognitive problems, even years after their treatment is completed, according to a new study.
The study, which is the first of its kind, looked at breast cancer survivors who were at least 10 years out from treatment. The findings showed that those who had higher levels of inflammation were more likely to have poorer cognitive scores.
“This is the first study to show that long-term survivors of breast cancer who have persistent inflammation are more likely to have cognitive problems,” said study author Dr. Mara H. Schoenbach, of the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif.
“It’s important to understand this link, as inflammation has been linked to a number of health problems, including heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.”
The study included 1,182 breast cancer survivors who were an average of 15 years out from treatment. The women were given cognitive tests and had blood samples taken to measure levels of inflammation.
Those with higher levels of inflammation were more likely to have poorer cognitive scores, even after taking into account factors such as age, education and treatment type.
“This study adds to the growing body of evidence linking inflammation to cognitive problems in older adults,” Schoenbach said.
“While more research is needed, these findings suggest that long-term breast cancer survivors should be monitored for cognitive problems, and that strategies to reduce inflammation may help protect their cognitive health.”
The study was published in the journal Cancer.
A new study has found that long-term inflammation may be linked to cognitive problems in older breast cancer survivors.
The study, published in the journal Cancer, followed 711 breast cancer survivors for an average of 12 years. The participants were between the ages of 60 and 75 at the start of the study.
The researchers found that those who had high levels of inflammation markers in their blood were more likely to experience cognitive problems, including problems with memory, executive function, and processing speed.
Previous research has suggested that inflammation may play a role in the development of cognitive problems. This new study adds to the evidence by showing that the link between inflammation and cognition may persist for years after breast cancer treatment has ended.
The findings suggest that long-term inflammatory conditions may be a risk factor for cognitive problems in older adults. This may be especially true for older adults who have survived cancer.
The study did not find that cognitive problems were linked to other factors, such as anxiety, depression, or fatigue. However, the researchers say that more research is needed to confirm these findings.
If you are a breast cancer survivor, talk to your doctor about ways to reduce inflammation. These may include exercise, a healthy diet, and stress-reduction techniques.