It is now fairly well established that cancer survivors experience an increased risk of a number of somatic disorders such as cardiovascular disorders and subsequent second cancers.

Cognitive Outcomes in Older Adult Cancer Patients

Project description


Due to an increasing number of women being diagnosed with breast cancer and at the same time more women survive this disorder, the prevalence of cancer survivors is increasing. In this study we evaluate whether also cognitive dysfunction could be linked to the diagnoses and treatment of cancer. It is well known that cancer induces depression and anxiety but whether, for instance, chemotherapy also induces dementia is not studied to any larger extent.

Ongoing tasks

We gathered information from case records for approximately 550 patients who received a diagnosis of cancer. All these cancer patients were twins and all twin pairs did a cognitive test. This was done as part of a large twin study on dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Cognitive function was compared between cancer patients and their co-twin and related to therapy for cancer.

Project leader for the Swedish part


Per Hall

Organizational unit: Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (MEB), C8

Project period: 2004-2011
Main financing: National Institutes of Health (NIH)


Margaret Gatz, Dept. of Psychology, University of Southern California, USA