Memory and concentration

Do you feel you are forgetting everything? That you can’t remember where your keys are? Relax, it’s normal. Problems of memory and concentration are frequent during cancer.

Fatigue is the main cause of this state of affairs. It affects both body and mind, revealing itself in memory lapses and difficulty paying attention or thinking. For example, it can be an effort to read a newspaper or recall the several things you have to do. Patients often describe it as a ‘mental fog’.


Fatigue is a frequent symptom, linked to your cancer and its treatment. It may be increased by the side effects of the medication, by anxiety and by disturbed sleep.

Patients describe it as a sensation of extreme, perpetual exhaustion that is not alleviated either by sleep or rest. It may also manifest itself as despondency, difficulty concentrating or thinking, or a loss of willpower. To assess your level of tiredness, a scale from 0 (no fatigue) to 10 (the most extreme imaginable) is used.


I am tired, what should I do?

Tiredness is relatively normal, it is due to the bodily changes and growth of your baby. This process requires a certain amount of energy.

Practical advice:

  • Don't feel guilty
  • Give yourself time to rest
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Keep hydrated