How Long Does Fatigue Or Weakness Last
Fatigue that is due to cancer and its treatment can last for weeks, months, or years. It often continues after treatment ends.
- For people who have surgery for cancer with no other treatment, fatigue often decreases or goes away over time as they recover from surgery.
- For people getting chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or immunotherapy in cycles, fatigue often gets worse at first and may get better until the next treatment, when the pattern starts again.
- For those getting radiation therapy, fatigue usually gets worse as the treatment goes on and often lessens within a few months after treatment is complete.
- Differ from one day to the next in how bad it is and how much it bothers you
- Be overwhelming and make it hard for you to feel well
- Make it hard for you to be with your friends and family
- Make it hard for you to do things you normally do, including going to work
- Make it harder for you to follow your cancer treatment plan.
Breast Cancer Signs And Symptoms
When something doesnt seem normal or right in your body especially on or around the breast tissue it can feel concerning. We understand the anxiety that can come up when you notice a breast change, and were here to help.
While symptoms and signs are words we often hear being used interchangeably, theyre actually different things. According to medical oncologist Pallav Mehta, MD, Symptoms of breast cancer are things our patients notice and tell us about, such as a painful breast lump or skin redness. Signs of breast cancer are identified by a healthcare professional, either through a physical exam or different kinds of tests.
Most people who are diagnosed with breast cancer have no symptoms. And not all symptoms mean you have breast cancer. Thats why mammograms are important in addition to knowing what looks and feels normal in your body. A mammogram is a medical test that screens for signs of breast cancer.
On this page, well walk you through information about symptoms you or your doctor may notice that could indicate breast cancer. Well also share information and guidelines about getting regular mammograms. A mammogram can help find breast cancer before symptoms even show up.
Causes Of Cancer Fatigue
Many things can cause fatigue in people with cancer. This includes the cancer itself and the type of treatment you might have.
Doctors don’t fully understand what causes cancer related fatigue. But we know that a number of things can make it worse. Fatigue is often worse in people who:
- are having a combination of treatments
- have advanced cancer
- are elderly
It’s important that you know you may be more likely to suffer from fatigue if you fall into one of these groups.
Read Also: Prostate Cancer Fatigue Before Treatment
Invasive Breast Cancer Symptoms
Most breast cancers start in the ducts, or the tubes that carry milk to the nipple, or in the lobules, the little clusters of sacs where breast milk is made. Invasive breast cancer refers to breast cancer that spreads from the original site to other areas of the breast, the lymph nodes or elsewhere in the body. In these cancers that form in the ducts or lobules, invasive ductal carcinoma or invasive lobular carcinoma , the cancer spreads from the ducts or lobules to other tissue. Depending on the stage, you may notice symptoms.
Invasive breast cancer symptoms may include:
- A lump or mass in the breast
- Swelling of all or part of the breast, even if no lump is felt
- Skin irritation or dimpling
- A lump or swelling in the underarm lymph nodes
Inflammatory Breast Cancer Program At Ctca
Thats why we developed the CTCA Inflammatory Breast Cancer Program, where our team of breast cancer experts work quickly to properly diagnose and stage each patient’s disease so she can make more informed decisions about her treatment options. Our breast cancer experts collaborate daily, allowing them to reach a diagnosis more efficiently and provide an individualized care plan designed to allow you to start treatment as soon as possible. The team also offers opportunities to enroll qualified patients in carefully selected clinical trials in areas such as immunotherapy and genomically targeted chemotherapy.
If you believe you may be experiencing symptoms of IBC and want to schedule an appointment for diagnostic testing, or chat online with a member of our team.
Don’t Miss: Does Vitamin D Help With Fatigue
How We Treat Cancer At Ctca
We only treat cancer at CTCA. Our team of multidisciplinary cancer experts takes a personalized, patient-centered approach to treating cancer and its side effects.
In addition to using conventional cancer treatments to attack the cancer itself, we provide evidence-informed supportive care therapies to help patients tolerate treatment and reduce side effects, including:
- Nutritional support, which includes the option of meeting with a registered dietitian wholl develop a personalized plan for your nutritional needs
- Behavioral health care, which may include working with therapists to help with depression, anxiety and stress, and using techniques such as talk therapy, mindfulness and relaxation techniques
- Access to professionally led support groups for patients and their loved ones, both in-person and online, including our Cancer Fighters community, where you can connect with cancer survivors
- Naturopathic support, which includes consultations with our naturopathic providers who counsel patients on the use of natural, non-toxic techniques to support the healing process
Providers at CTCA work together under one roof, providing convenient access for patients.
If youd like to get a second opinion or talk to someone at CTCA about getting help for fatigue or other cancer-related side effects youre experiencing, or chat online with a member of our team.
What Is Cancer Fatigue
Fatigue means feeling very tired, exhausted and lacking energy. It can be a symptom of the cancer itself or a side effect of treatment.
Fatigue is very common in people with cancer. It can be the most troubling symptom. Many people say it’s the most disruptive side effect of all.
Cancer related fatigue can affect you physically, emotionally and mentally. How long it lasts, the degree of severity and how often you might have it is different from person to person.
Read Also: Symptoms Of Adrenal Fatigue In Males
How Your Doctor Can Help
The first step is to try to figure out the source or sources of your fatigue. There may be more than one reason youâre feeling this way.
Your doctor can do tests to check for anemia or hypothyroidism. If you have one of these conditions, treatments can help.
If you think your cancer treatment is the cause, talk to your doctor about ways to help you manage it, or discuss other options.
Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer That Many Women Ignore
According to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that about 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in American women by the end of 2016, and about 40,450 women will die from breast cancer. The harsh reality is that breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among women. About 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.
Breast cancer awareness goes far beyond knowing the statistics. Its about active prevention, and being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, in hopes of catching it early on if it develops.
The following five warning signs of breast cancer are ones that many women tend to shrug off, but recognizing them may be vital to saving your life.
Don’t Miss: What Can Cause Fatigue And Joint Pain
Physical Activity Physical Deconditioning And Body Mass Index
Physical inactivity is correlated with cancer-related fatigue patients who are more fatigued typically report lower levels of physical activity104, 105. Lack of physical activity may lead to physical deconditioning, which makes everyday tasks more challenging and potentially contributes to the development and persistence of fatigue. Indeed, cancer survivors with post-treatment fatigue show decreased cardiorespiratory fitness106. However, few studies have examined the temporal association between activity, deconditioning, and fatigue, making it difficult to determine causality. There is evidence from longitudinal studies that lower levels of physical activity after treatment completion predict persistent fatigue in breast cancer survivors19, 107, although elevated fatigue during treatment may have preceded lower physical activity in these reports. In either case, low levels of physical activity and associated decreases in cardiorespiratory fitness may play an important role in the development and/or persistence of cancer-related fatigue. Elevated body mass index has also been linked with fatigue, and a longitudinal study of women with early-stage breast cancer found that BMI was one of the key predictors of fatigue at 619 and 42 months post-treatment101. Body mass index also predicted persistent fatigue in a longitudinal study of post-treatment breast cancer survivors, above and beyond other risk factors65.
Symptom Signature Of Breast Cancer Individual Symptoms
A total of 2316/2783 of symptomatic women with breast cancer were included in the analysis . Among them, 2543 symptoms were recorded, averaging 1.1 symptoms per woman. A total of 56 distinct presenting symptoms were reported in the study population , in 95 unique phenotypes. Breast lump was the most common symptom, recorded in about four-fifths of all women . The next most commonly reported presenting symptoms were nipple abnormalities , breast pain , and breast skin abnormalities .
Also Check: Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Real
Signs And Symptoms Of Cancer
Signs and symptoms are ways the body lets you know that you have an injury, illness, or disease.
- A sign, such as fever or bleeding, can be seen or measured by someone else.
- A symptom, such as pain or fatigue, is felt or noticed by the person who has it.
Signs and symptoms of cancer depend on where the cancer is, how big it is, and how much it affects nearby organs or tissues. If a cancer has spread , signs or symptoms may appear in different parts of the body.
How Does Cancer Cause Signs And Symptoms
A cancer can grow into,or begin to push on nearby organs, blood vessels, and nerves. This pressure causes some of the signs and symptoms of cancer.
A cancer may also cause symptoms like fever, extreme tiredness , or weight loss. This may be because cancer cells use up much of the bodys energy supply. Or the cancer could release substances that change the way the body makes energy. Cancer can also cause the immune system to react in ways that produce these signs and symptoms.
Recommended Reading: Oversized Anti Fatigue Kitchen Mats
Fatigue And Physical Performance Evaluation
At the baseline , demographic and anthropometric characteristics, cancer location and staging, as well as pharmacologic history, have been assessed. All outcomes were also evaluated at the end of the 4-week rehabilitation treatment , and at 2 months follow-up .
The primary outcome measure was the Brief Fatigue Inventory , a multidimensional self-report scale that assesses the effects of fatigue on health-related quality of life originally reported by Mendoza et al. . This survey is composed of nine questions scored on a 010 point scale. The BFI is presented as two parts. Specifically, the first three questions rate the current, usual, and worst levels of fatigue over the last 24 h, while the remaining six questions are related to the impact of fatigue on activity, mood, walking, work, relationships, and enjoyment of life. A total BFI score is then calculated by the mean of the nine scores, where scores 13 indicate slight fatigue, scores 46 moderate fatigue, and scores 710 severe fatigue.
Cancer Symptoms In Women
Breast lump or change. Although it’s a hallmark symptom of breast cancer, most lumps aren’t cancer. They’re often fluid-filled cysts or noncancerous tumors.
Still, see your doctor right away if you find any new or changing growths in your breasts, just to make sure.
Also get these changes checked out:
- Redness or scaling of the skin over the breast
- Breast pain
- Lump under your arm
- Fluid that isn’t breast milk leaking from the nipple
Bleeding between periods or after menopause. Bleeding from the vagina during women’s reproductive years is usually theirÃ monthly period. When it happens after menopause or outside of normal periods, cervical or endometrial cancer is a possibility. Call your doctor if you have any bleeding that’s unusual for you.
Don’t Miss: Stage 4 Lung Cancer Extreme Fatigue
Supportive Care For Secondary Breast Cancer
The symptoms of secondary breast cancer are usually helped with cancer treatment. Sometimes this works quickly and you may notice an improvement within a few days. But sometimes it may take a few weeks before you feel better. There are also other ways to manage symptoms.
You may have some general symptoms, such as feeling very tired. Other symptoms depend on where in the body the cancer has spread to. Sometimes symptoms, such as bone symptoms may cause possible complications that need to be treated.
You will not get all the symptoms mentioned here. Some women get very few symptoms. Always let your doctor or specialist nurse know if you have new symptoms or if your symptoms get worse.
Many hospitals have doctors and nurses who are experts in treating pain and other symptoms. They are sometimes called supportive or palliative care specialists.
What Else Can Cause Fatigue
Many other factors can make you feel tired and fatigued if you have cancer. Some of these include:
- not sleeping well at night or sleeping too much during the day
- treatment may be harder for you to cope with especially if you’re elderly
- your tiredness may make it harder for you to concentrate so everything seems more difficult making you feel even more tired
- travelling to and from the hospital for treatment
- having a lot of visitors when you are staying in hospital
- looking after children
- other health problems such as diabetes, problems with your lungs, heart problems and being overweight
You can ask your nurses to tell your visitors that they can only stay with you for a short time. Don’t feel bad if you have to do this. You need a lot of rest and your friends and family will understand.
You May Like: Can I Get Disability For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Variation In Diagnostic Intervals By Major Symptom Group
The vast majority of women belonged to one of four symptom groups: lump only non-lump only both lump and non-lump and non-breast symptoms . There was no difference in frequency of symptom groups by age group of ethnicity .
Venn diagram depicting the four largest symptom groups in 2316 breast cancer patients. The three shaded groups in red were not investigated due to small numbers: breast lump and non-breast symptoms , non-lump breast symptoms and non-breast symptoms , and breast lump, non-lump breast symptoms, and non-breast symptoms . The full symptom taxonomy is presented in Fig. A.2. in the Supplementary material
As most of the variation in interval length between different symptom groups was concentrated at the long right tail of the distribution, we hereafter describe the 90th centile values in addition to the median value. Overall, the patient interval was substantially longer than the primary care interval .
A New Mole / Change In An Existing Mole
While moles are more commonly associated with a higher risk of skin cancer, they may also be linked to breast cancer. In one study, researchers followed 89,902 women ages 40-65 years old, and noted their medical records over a period of 18 years. The number of moles each woman had was documented at the beginning of the study. During the study, 5,956 of the women were diagnosed with breast cancer. Researchers found that the women who had the most moles out of the group had a 13% higher risk of breast cancer than women who had no moles. If you notice a new mole, or any type of change in an existing mole, visit a health care professional.
Don’t Miss: Adrenal Fatigue Blood Pressure Test
Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer may not cause any signs or symptoms in its early stages. Signs and symptoms often appear when the tumour grows large enough to be felt as a lump in the breast or when the cancer spreads to surrounding tissues and organs. Other health conditions can cause the same symptoms as breast cancer.
The most common symptom of ductal carcinoma is a firm or hard lump that feels very different from the rest of the breast. It may feel like it is attached to the skin or the surrounding breast tissue. The lump doesnt get smaller or come and go with your period. It may be tender, but its usually not painful. .
Lobular carcinoma often does not form a lump. It feels more like the tissue in the breast is getting thicker or harder.
Other symptoms of ductal and lobular breast cancer include:
- a lump in the armpit
- changes in the shape or size of the breast
- changes to the nipple, such as a nipple that suddenly starts to point inward
- discharge that comes out of the nipple without squeezing it or that has blood in it
Late signs and symptoms occur as the cancer grows larger or spreads to other parts of the body, including other organs. Late symptoms of breast cancer include:
- bone pain
Why Exercise = More Energy
Are youasking: How can exercise give me more energy? I can barely go to the grocerystore! I admit that it seems counterintuitive. But if you think about whatexercise does to the body, it might make more sense.
Exercise in any form brings oxygen to your muscles. This is true whether exercise is aerobic , resistive or yoga .
All theseexercise types also take away waste products. They bring fresh oxygen, freshnutrients! Circulation is truly the key to healthy tissues.
You May Like: Does Eosinophilic Esophagitis Cause Fatigue
Recommended Reading: How To Overcome Hypothyroid Fatigue