Managing Work If You Have Fatigue
You may find that you cant continue working due to fatigue, or that you have to reduce the amount of time you spend at work.
It can help to talk to your employer or personnel/human resources department and let them know that you may need some time off.
Dont feel that you have to work if youre too tired. If you do want to carry on working, you may be able to find ways of making your work less tiring for a while.
Anyone with cancer is protected by the Equality Act 2010, which prevents employers from victimising or discriminating against people with a disability. The act also states that employers are expected to make reasonable adjustments to support employees in the workplace. You may want to make suggestions for adjustments that could help to support you. Things that your employer can do to help include:
- changing your hours so that you can travel to and from work at less busy times
- asking colleagues to be supportive and to help with some of your work
- finding you a parking place near to your place of work
- letting you take short breaks to lie down and rest
- allowing you to work from home
- finding you lighter work if your job involves physical exertion or heavy lifting
If youre self-employed, it can help to talk to the Department of Work and Pensions about benefits that you may be entitled to claim.
Managing Colon Cancer And Potential Pain
When we talk about managing colon cancer, we need to consider more than the basic treatment options. Managing colon cancer should include:
- Treatments for the cancer
- Pain management strategies
- Mental health and well being
Treatment for colon cancer will depend on the individual and on the stage of the cancer.
- In localized colon cancer, doctors are likely to recommend localized treatments such as, surgery, ablation, and radiation.
- In regional colon cancer, doctors often recommend surgery, with the potential use of adjuvant chemotherapy, depending on the individual. In some more advanced cases of regional cancer, the tumor is too large to remove by surgery. In this case, radiation may first be used to shrink the tumor, before surgically removing the cancer.
- In distance colon cancer, chemotherapy is nearly always recommended. In distance colon cancer, the cancer often spreads to the liver or lungs. If the spread is not too great, surgery may still be used. Ablation or embolization may also be used.
The treatments for colon cancer, can cause their own symptoms, a primary one being pain, explains Dr. Ali.
Dont Miss: What Is Me Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
When To See A Doctor
In most cases, digestive symptoms do not indicate cancer. However, if the symptoms are unusual, appear more regularly, or steadily get worse, it is best to see a doctor as there is no other way to diagnose these issues.
Even if the underlying cause is not colon cancer, the doctor may be able to identify and diagnose a separate disorder for which they can recommend treatment.
Many people with colon cancer do not show any early symptoms so experiencing symptoms can be a sign that the cancer is growing or spreading. The
Read Also: Why Am I Feeling Extreme Fatigue
Also Check: How To Help Fibromyalgia Fatigue
Are Bleeding Polyps Cancerous
While there is no direct causation between bleeding polyps and developing colon cancer, we can safely say that bleeding polyps usually occur amongst larger polyps, and larger polyps are more likely to become cancerous.
If you believe that blood in your stool or your abdominal pain may be connected to bleeding polyps, then it is best to see your doctor for a colonoscopy.
Tips To Help Manage Fatigue
- Plan and prioritise your activities and workload set realistic goals that you can break down into manageable chunks.
- Plan regular rest breaks short rests planned throughout the day are better than long ones.
- Ask family and friends for help where you can save your energy for the tasks that only you can do or for the ones you most enjoy.
- Talk to your GP or clinical nurse specialist about whether an occupational therapist could help you they can give practical advice to help you manage at work, school or home, including organising equipment and adaptations.
- Make time to keep up with fun and enjoyable parts of your life, including spending time with family and friends.
- Use devices or equipment you could use to make tasks easier or quicker.
- Try to get into a sleep routine, to help you get a restful night.
- Consider relaxation techniques and complementary therapies, for example mindfulness meditation, acupuncture, yoga or massage speak to a member of your medical team before trying one, to check its safe for you.
Recommended Reading: Best Tea For Adrenal Fatigue
Seeing A Healthcare Provider For Fatigue
When your chief complaint is fatigue, cancer isn’t likely to be the first thing on your healthcare provider’s mind. Fatigue is related to many other conditions, and your healthcare provider will want to rule out the most common causes first.
This will be accomplished through a physical and routine blood work. Your healthcare provider will likely order a few different blood tests, especially tests to check on your thyroid function.
During your visit, your healthcare provider may ask several questions relating to your quality of life and what factors may contribute to your fatigue. Possible questions include:
- How many hours do you work? Are you stressed at work?
- Have you had any major life changes, such as marriage, birth, or death?
- How often do you exercise?
- Do you sleep well? How much sleep do you get?
- How is your diet?
- Do you have a family history of thyroid disease?
It is important to remember that fatigue is not exclusive to cancer. If you are experiencing fatigue, it may be related to a less serious condition or have a lifestyle cause.
Can A Dietitian Help Me Fight Cancer Fatigue
Dietitians can provide suggestions to work around any symptoms that may be interfering with caloric intake. They can help you find ways to take in calories despite an early feeling of fullness, swallowing difficulty or taste changes. Dietitians can also suggest ways of maximizing calories and proteins in smaller amounts of food. They may suggest powdered milk, instant breakfast drinks and other commercial supplements or food additives.
Also Check: Fatigue And Out Of Breath
Can Sleep Be Improved To Reduce Cancer Fatigue
Sleep is an important part of wellness. Good sleep can improve your mental and physical health. Several factors contribute to how well you sleep, and there are things you can do to improve your sleep, including:
- Doing relaxation exercises, meditation or relaxation yoga before going to sleep.
- Avoiding long afternoon naps.
- Going to bed only when sleepy. Use your bedroom only for sleep and sexual activities.
- Setting a consistent time to lie down and get up.
- Avoiding caffeine and stimulating activities in the evening.
- Establishing a relaxing pre-sleep routine.
Colon Cancer Associated Fatigue:
Colon cancer has an association with fatigue, as it is a common symptom of the disease. Fatigue typically does not resolve after the treatment of cancer. Colon cancer associated fatigue is the most common and troublesome adverse effect of the disease and its treatment.
Fatigue that results from colon cancer cannot be predicted by tumor size or stage of the cancer or the treatment. This fatigue does not result from exertion or physical stress, rather it has a sudden onset. The following can be possible causes for mild to extreme fatigue in colon cancer patients.
- Competition For Nutrients:
Our body is an intricate web of interconnected systems. For the efficient working of body, it needs energy just like fuel to run the machine. Our cells are specialized to produce energy but for that, they need nutrients. These nutrients are supplied by the blood.
A Tumor is an aggregated mass of a large number of cells. For the production and survival of these cells, nutrients are needed. This unnecessary production of cells results in the compromise of nutrients by the normal cells.
With the formation of the tumor, all the cells normal as well as neoplastic, compete for the nutrients requirement. Normal cells get deprived of the nutrients and consequently fail to produce enough energy. As a result, fatigue occurs.
- Nutritional Deficiencies:
- Mental Illness:
- Treatment Of Colon Cancer:
Also Check: Will A Doctor Prescribe Adderall For Fatigue
Significance And Possible Application
Discoveries like this are pivotal because they allow for earlier detection and treatment. When it comes to most types of cancer, early detection is the key to treating it successfully.
Patients diagnosed with a localized stage colon cancer have a 90% chance of survival within five years . That drops to 71% after cancer has spread to neighboring organs and systems. It drops to 14% once it spreads to farther parts of the body.
With technology this accurate, doctors can gain a better insight into the development of colon cancer. More importantly, colon cancer mortality rates will drop significantly in the future, thanks to the possibility of early detection.
For patients, this translates to more affordable and comfortable methods of screening. As lead author doctor Wen-Sy Tsai notes, There is still some reticence among patients to use stool-based tests or have an invasive exam like colonoscopy to detect colorectal cancer. Our results may point to a solution.
Dont Miss: Sore Throat And Extreme Fatigue
How Can I Lower Stress If I Have Cancer
Managing stress can play an important role in combating cancer-related fatigue. Here are some suggestions that may help.
If your stress seems out of control, talk to a health care professional.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Treatment For Adrenal Fatigue
Colon Cancer And White Blood Cell Count
White blood cells are produced in the bone marrow and are easily detectable in blood tests. A specific type of white blood cell called the neutrophil is responsible for warding off infections and destroying harmful cells.
The normal neutrophil count is 1,000/1 microliter. A deficiency in neutrophils is called neutropenia. This is caused by severe infections that are too invasive.
On the other hand, neutrophil production can also be stalled by the presence of cancer. Cancer treatments can also affect neutrophil count due to radiation exposure. Keeping track of your neutrophil count can help you understand how your body works.
Read Also: How To Help Pregnancy Fatigue
Persistent Nausea And Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting can be a sign of colon cancer, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine: Nausea and vomiting can occur if a colon or rectal tumor is obstructing the bowel and inhibiting the passage of liquid or solid waste or gas. Bowel blockage can also be accompanied by painful abdominal cramps, bloating and constipation If you experience persistent nausea, signs of dehydration or vomiting that lasts for more than 24 hours, seek immediate medical treatment.
Recommended Reading: Anti Fatigue Comfort Floor Mat
Fatigue Isoften Treated By Relieving Relatedconditions
Treatment of fatigue depends on the symptoms and whether the cause of fatigue is known. When the cause of fatigue is not known, treatment is usually given to relieve symptoms and teach you ways to cope with fatigue.
Treatment of anemia
Anemia causes fatigue, so treating anemia when the cause of anemia is known, helps decrease fatigue. When the cause is not known, treatment for anemia is supportive care and may include the following:
- Change in diet
- Transfusions of red blood cells
Transfusions work well to treat anemia. Even though problems from a transfusion are low, there are risks of an allergic reaction, infection, graft-versus-host disease, immune system changes, and too much iron in the blood.
Drugs called erythropoiesis-stimulating agents cause the bone marrow to make more red blood cells and may be used to treat anemia-related fatigue in terminal patients receiving chemotherapy.Since ESAs increase the risk of blood clots, few patients are offered this treatment. The Food and Drug Administration has not approved these drugs for the treatment of fatigue. Discuss the risks and benefits of these drugs with your doctor.
Treatment of pain and depression
How Does Nutrition Affect Energy Level
Cancer-related fatigue is often made worse if you are not eating or drinking enough or if you are not eating the right foods. Maintaining good nutrition can help you feel better and have more energy. Make an appointment with a dietitian. A registered dietitian provides suggestions to work around any eating problems that may be interfering with proper nutrition . A dietitian can also suggest ways to maximize calories and include proteins in smaller amounts of food .
Recommended Reading: Anti Fatigue Flooring Interlocking Mats
What Is The Right Kind Of Exercise For Cancer Fatigue
It’s important for you to exercise your whole body every day, or at least every other day. A good exercise plan starts slowly, allowing your body time to adjust. Any kind of exercise is acceptable, including walking, riding a stationary bike, yoga or swimming , and strength training. Whatever kind of exercise you do should be at a moderate intensity so you can say to yourself “I am working somewhat hard.” Avoid exercise that makes you feel sore, stiff or exhausted.
What Can I Do About Fatigue With Colorectal Cancer
The best way to combat fatigue while also battling colorectal cancer is to treat the underlying medical cause. Unfortunately, the exact cause is often unknown, or there may be multiple causes.
There are some treatments that may help improve fatigue caused by an under-active thyroid or anemia. Other causes of fatigue must be managed on an individual basis. The following guidelines should help you combat fatigue.
You May Like: Can Low Iron Cause Fatigue
You May Like: Iv Vitamin Therapy For Adrenal Fatigue
Cancer Signals In Both Men And Women
Appetite loss. Many conditions, from depression to the flu, can make you feel less hungry. Cancer can have this effect by changing your metabolism, the way your body turns food into energy.
Stomach, pancreatic, colon, and ovarian cancers also can put pressure on your stomach and make you feel too full to eat.
Blood in the stool. Cancers can bleed, but so can a bunch of other things, like ulcers, hemorrhoids, infections, or a sore. When you see red in your poop, the blood is often from somewhere in your GI tract, meaning your esophagus, stomach, or intestines.
One way to tell where the blood is coming from is by how light or dark it looks. Bright red could mean the bleeding is in your rectum or the end of your intestines. A darker color means it may be from higher up, like a stomach ulcer.
No matter what the cause, blood in your stool needs to be checked out. You may need a colonoscopy or other tests to find the problem.
Blood in the urine. When it shows up in your pee, blood could be a warning sign of a problem in your urinary tract. Kidney or bladder cancer can cause this symptom, but it could also be due to an infection, kidney stones, or kidney disease.
Cough that doesn’t go away. A cold or the flu can make you hack away, but it’s also a potential symptom of lung cancer, along with red flags like chest pain, weight loss, hoarseness, fatigue, and shortness of breath. See your doctor if you can’t seem to shake it, especially if you’re a smoker.
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.
Recommended Reading: Timberland Pro Anti Fatigue Soft Toe
What Causes Fatigue In Colon Cancer
Fatigue is a feeling of weakness and constantly lacking energy. Tiredness should not be confused with fatigue, which is a normal sensation after doing a hectic workout. Unlike fatigue, tiredness is resolved taking a nap or having a good night sleep. Fatigue, on the other hand, is caused by physical or mental stress and is not relieved even after sleeping. It is the deprivation of energy that interferes with the life and does not let the person do daily living activities.
The Most Common Symptoms
The most common symptom of bladder cancer is blood in the urine that is visible to the eye, which occurs in between 80% and 90% of patients diagnosed. It is usually the first symptom and may be the only symptom that a person experiences. Around 20% to 30% of patients diagnosed with bladder cancer experience problems or changes related to urination, such as
- The need to urinate more often than usual
- Pain or burning before, during, or after urination
- Feeling the urgent need to urinate despite having a bladder that is not full
- Inability to urinate despite a full bladder
Recommended Reading: Can Fatigue Cause Shortness Of Breath