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Lung Cancer & Dementia


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Hello. My name is Deb and I'm new here. My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer about 2 months ago and is undergoing chemo, radiation, etc.. Since her diagnosis, I have seen a drastic change in her mentation and wondered if dementia can be brought on by the cancer? I can't seem to find anything on this. She has started some behaviors that she didn't have before the diagnosis, such as speaking very loudly in public and imagining things that aren't real. A case in point would be the last time we took her home from the hospital, she was waving at the windows, just certain that all the nurses were standing there waving back, which they weren't. She will not eat and will not take her meds. She has lost both of her hearing aids and her upper denture, which is really crazy, because nobody in the family has ever even seen her without them. She's just acting crazy and I was hoping someone here could give me some insight into this.


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Hi Deb, and welcome.

I'm sorry to hear about your Mom's diagnosis.

Yes, cancer and its treatments can cause significant alteration in a person's cognition. Among the things that can cause mental changes are dehydration, elevated blood sugar, hypercalcemia, brain metastases, toxic build-up from the tumours themselves, reaction to medications, and the list goes on. Have you discussed these changes with your Mom's doctor? She probably needs to undergo some tests to try and determine what is going on, and whether it is something that can be easily remedied.

All the best,


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This Link may be of some assistance to you, If it is what it sounds like which could be Chemo Brain as it is called. Am not sure but you may want to check it out.

lickon Link to be redirected to Website.

http://www.chemocare.com/MANAGING/centr ... y_loss.asp

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Well, that explains a lot of what's going on with her. I talked with Dad this morning and he told me that she went into the kitchen in the middle of the night and turned on all the burners (gas) and the oven. He woke up and asked her what she was doing and she just stood there and said she didn't know, with just this blank look on her face. She's very confused.

She just finished her second round of chemo and she's not sleeping again, etc.. At least now I know that it could be the treatments that are making her act like this.

Thanks a bunch!

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Hello Deb and welcome,

I am sorry to hear about your mother. You got some very good advice here already, but I want to add that a nice chat with your mom's doctor is probably very, very much in order. If her strange behaviour is being brought on by the treatment meds, the dr should really be made aware. He may be able to change something to help improve this.

Randy's link is an excellent one. ChemoBrain is, unfortunately, one of the side effects that some people do suffer. This disease and its treatments are so cruel..

Please keep us posted and let us know how we can help you.

Sending prayers to you and your mom and your family,


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