Cognition in breast cancer survivors: hormones versus depression

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Objective:Breast cancer survivors receiving hormone treatment and/or endorsing histories of receiving chemotherapy report changes in their cognitive capacity, which is often not supported by formal testing. To address these conflicting reports, this study examined survivors' applied cognitive capacity and its association with hormone treatment, depression, and selected demographics.


A descriptive, correlational, cross-sectional survey design was employed. There were 357 women who completed a survey comprised of 69 questions. The survey included both investigator-developed questions and instruments from the PROMIS® system.


There were significant main effects for hormone therapy, race, and depression. Depression explained the largest portion of variance of the perceived decreases in cognitive function among breast cancer survivors.


Survivor complaints of changes in cognitive function may be a predictor for evaluating the presence of mood disorders and less a function of hormone therapy or chemotherapy history.

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