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Asian Oncol Nurs. 2012 Feb;12(1):1-11. Korean. Review.
Kim KH , Chung BY , Kim GD , Byun HS , Choi EH , Cho EJ .
Department of Nursing, Kimcheon Science College, Gimcheon, Korea.
School of Nursing, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea.
Department of Nursing, Dongyang University, Yeongju, Korea.
Department of Nursing, Daegu Polytechnic College, Daegu, Korea.
Department of Nursing, Yeungnam College of Science and Technology, Daegu, Korea.
Department of Nursing, Sorabol College, Gyeongju, Korea.

PURPOSE: This study reviewed articles related to breast cancer, cognitive function and chemotherapy available in 4 databases. METHODS: The researcher reviewed 32 pieces of literature that were published between January 2001 and November 2011. RESULTS: Within the last decade, several studies have investigated whether adjuvant treatment of breast cancer affects cognitive function. A number of prospective studies have reported inconsistent results regarding whether chemotherapy affects cognitive function. Approximately half of the studies reported subtle cognitive decline in a wide range of domains among some breast cancer patients following chemotherapy, and others did not. CONCLUSION: Breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy showed the most deterioration and the most persistent decline in cognitive function. Since cognitive impairment is subtle, if evident at all, discrepant findings are due to hormonal, physiological, psychological or temporal confounding variables and differences in study design. Especially, that chemotherapy may impair memory, executive function, attention and visuospatial function in women with breast cancer.

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