Cancer Treatment: Coping With Fatigue
Fatigue, feeling tired and lacking energy, is the most common symptom reported by cancer patients. The exact cause is not always known. It can be due to your disease, chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, low blood counts, lack of sleep, pain, stress, poor appetite, along with many other factors.
Fatigue from cancer feels different from fatigue of everyday life. Fatigue caused by chemotherapy can appear suddenly. Patients with cancer have described it as a total lack of energy and have used words such as worn out, drained, and wiped out to describe their fatigue. And rest does not always relieve it. Not everyone feels the same kind of fatigue. You may not feel tired while someone else does or your fatigue may not last as long as someone else's does. It can last days, weeks, or months. But severe fatigue does go away gradually as the tumor responds to treatment.
How can I cope with fatigue?
For more information about cancer therapy side effects, and coping with them, please read the "Chemotherapy and Cancer Treatment, Coping with Side Effects" article.
SOURCE: National Cancer Institute (www.cancer.gov)
Last Editorial Review: 11/11/2002