Cancer-Related Fatigue

What is Fatigue?

Generally speaking, fatigue is the feeling of being very, very tired. Some facts patients should know about fatigue include:

  • It means you are not able to do the things you usually do.
  • It affects the things that you do, such as talking on the telephone, eating, or sleeping.
  • Rest does not make it better.
  • It is the most common side effect of cancer treatment.
  • Only you know if you have fatigue and how bad it is.

What Should You Look For?

Some symptoms to look for if you believe you are feeling fatigued include:

  • Feeling like you have no energy
  • Sleeping a lot
  • Not wanting to do normal activities
  • Not being able to do normal activities
  • Not caring about the way you look
  • Feeling tired even after sleeping
  • Having trouble thinking

What Can You Do?

Some steps you can take to alleviate fatigue include:

  • Rest, But Not Too Much
    • Rest in-between activities
  • Stay Active
    • Stay as active as you can
    • Exercising, such as walking, can make you feel better
  • Save Your Energy
    • Plan ahead
    • Spread your activities throughout the day
    • Do your most important activities first
  • Get Help With Tasks
    • Don't overdo it
    • Ask your family or friends to help you do things
  • Get Support
    • Think about joining a support group
    • Talk about how you are feeling with others
  • Eat Well
    • Drink 6 - 8 glasses of water a day
    • Eat small meals during the day
  • Call Your Nurse or Doctor
    • Call your nurse or doctor if you feel more tired than usual

How Long Will Fatigue Last?

Once your treatment is over, the fatigue will slowly go away over time.

This page was last updated: April 8, 2015

         
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