Are there ways to treat cancer-related fatigue?


Fatigue, or low-energy level, is a very common symptom of cancer patients, especially when they're on chemotherapy. There are a few ways that we approach this problem. During the consultation with the medical team, the providers will go through various tests looking for anemia or hypothyroidism, which are the common causes of fatigue. During chemotherapy time, most patients will likely feel tired for a few days. In some patients, that fatigue may list a bit longer or shorter, depending on their reaction to the chemotherapy. What I often advise my patients is recognizing that there's definitely going to be some downtime around the chemotherapy administration period and to plan their activities accordingly. I advise them not to overdo it for the few days they're on chemotherapy and then plan accordingly for the days following that. In addition to that, other things that patients can do are continue to participate in activities, or low-level exercises, that their bodies can tolerate to help continue to maintain their stamina. The other part is, of course, make sure that the patients are eating healthy, nutritious diets.

Wen Wee Ma, MBBS