People who have been treated for breast cancer sometimes report that their minds “do not seem to be clear.” This could be due to the cancer itself, its treatment, or interactions among other factors. Sometimes these changes in thinking are short-lived, while other times they are longer lasting.
In this study, researchers are studying older women who were treated for breast cancer (either with or without chemotherapy) and comparing them with older women who never had cancer. Investigators will also examine the influence of smoking history and APOE (the gene for apolipoprotein E, which has been linked with cognitive decline). Participants will be asked to complete questionnaires and neuropsychological testing assessing thinking and memory ability, and to provide a blood sample to be tested for APOE.