Wednesday, May 15, 2024

What Does Cancer Fatigue Feel Like

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Can You Have Stage 4 Cancer And Not Know It

Chemotherapy: What can I do to combat fatigue? | Norton Cancer Institute

When people are diagnosed with cancer, most of them are diagnosed at an early stage. I was a rarity and was diagnosed at stage 4. Every cancer case is different, some people diagnosed at an early stage have obvious symptoms, some of us diagnosed at a late stage have no symptoms or very insignificant symptoms.

Make Sleep A Priority

Although napping wont cure chronic fatigue, short naps can provide temporary relief. But napping too close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep cycle.

See if you can tweak your sleep hygiene to promote better sleep. Put out a virtual do not disturb by letting everyone in the household know that your sleep is a priority.

Think about how your energy level rises and falls throughout the day. Try to schedule the most taxing activities during peak energy times. Put less important tasks aside or ask for help.

How Can I Explain My Fatigue To Friends And Family

Fatigue can be difficult to understand if youve never experienced it. Some people feel upset or frustrated if those around them dont seem to appreciate how exhausted they are.

You could use comparisons to help. For example, you could describe your energy levels as a bank with a limited amount of money to spend, or a car with a limited amount of fuel to use. Christine Miserandino describes her experience of illness-related fatigue, using spoons to represent units of energy you could show them this.

I remember saying to my husband, When I say Im tired, I mean I cant function I cant even make sense of what Im saying, so I may as well sleep.

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Communicating With Your Healthcare Provider About Fatigue

Many people underestimate fatigue and fail to discuss it with their practitioner. There can be underlying medical reasons for fatigue, such as anemia, that may need to be addressed. Unfortunately, there is no medication, prescription or OTC, that treats fatigue, but your healthcare provider may be able to determine what is contributing to fatigue and offer solutions specific to your situation.

Spotting The Difference: Cancer Related Fatigue Vs Everyday Fatigue

What Are The Causes Of Cancer Related Fatigue &  How To ...

Each Sunday this year, we’ll be looking at a symptom of leukaemia as part of our #LC50 campaign. This month, we’re focussing on fatigue, and how cancer-related fatigue differs from everyday fatigue. Read all about this symptom and how to spot it.

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Fatigue is by far the most common symptom experienced by blood cancer patients prior to a diagnosis. According to our 2018 patient survey, 56% of leukaemia patients will experience fatigue in the lead up to their diagnosis.

The fatigue that comes with leukaemia or any cancer is known as cancer-related fatigue and it is characterised by extreme or persistent exhaustion that disrupts your daily activities and function. People who have CRF have no energy and find it extremely difficult to complete even the simple, everyday tasks that others take for granted. Spotting the difference between harmless and harmful fatigue may be key in diagnosing leukaemia early.

I was a physical guy, and then all of a sudden, no explanation, I felt like I was in treacle. Very fatigued and very tired.

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Take Care Of Yourself

Here are some suggestions that may help patients with CRF improve their own well-being.

  • Ask for Help. Ask for help with routine tasks such as shopping, cooking, housekeeping, laundry or driving. Rest when you feel tired.
  • Plan Ahead. If possible, schedule cancer treatments for those times that will have the least effect on your job or other activities. For example, if you work, schedule treatments in the afternoon or at the end of the week so you can be the most productive at your job.
  • Keep a Journal. Keep track of your experiences of fatigue. Take notes on a regular basis of
  • The severity of your fatigue
  • When your fatigue occurs
  • How long your fatigue lasts
  • Activities or treatments that make you feel either better or worse
  • How fatigue interferes with your daily activities
  • Symptoms of your fatigue such as tired legs or eyes, difficulties with concentration, weakness or sleepiness, shortness of breath, irritability or impatience.
  • A detailed record will help you when you discuss possible causes, treatments and coping strategies with your doctor or nurse.

    Also note daily activities, medications and treatments, eating and sleeping habits, weight changes and emotional stressors, including financial concerns. Write down strategies that have worked to reduce fatigue, such as undertaking difficult tasks when your energy is highest, or pacing yourself and scheduling rest.

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    Why Does Radiation Therapy Cause Fatigue

    Fatigue occurs during radiation therapy because the body is working hard to repair damage to healthy cells incurred during treatment. The degree of fatigue generally varies depending on the amount of tissue irradiated, as well as the location.

    But radiation therapy may not be the sole culprit of fatigue: it can be a result of cancer itself or the mental stress associated with being a cancer patient. Certain medications, such as those to prevent and treat nausea, can also be responsible for fatigue. It’s impossible to pinpoint the exact cause because there are many factors in cancer treatment that can all be responsible.

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    Is Fatigue A Sign Of Cancer

    Fatigue may develop as a symptom of blood cancers, such as leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma, because these cancers start in the bone marrow, which produces red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body.

    Fatigue may also be a symptom of undiagnosed metastatic cancer . This is more common in cancers that arent typically caught early, such as lung cancer or ovarian cancer.

    Its uncommon for fatigue to be the only symptom of undiagnosed cancer. A more concerning scenario develops when patients experience both fatigue and pain in one area thats getting progressively worse, along with unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite.

    However, these symptoms may also be caused by an infection or another medical condition, such as anemia, depression, thyroid dysfunction, vitamin deficiency or sleep apnea, to name a few possibilities.

    If a patient came to me complaining primarily of fatigue, my first thoughteven as an oncologistprobably wouldnt be cancer.

    There may not be a simple answer behind whats causing your fatigue, and discovering the root cause often takes some digging, along with some trial and error with various therapeutic approaches.

    How Do Cancers Start

    Cancer Fatigue Treatment – Ways to Reduce and Improve Cancer Related Fatigue

    Cancer can start almost anywhere in the human body, which is made up of trillions of cells. Normally, human cells grow and divide to form new cells as the body needs them. When cells grow old or become damaged, they die, and new cells take their place. When cancer develops, however, this orderly process breaks down.

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    How Do You Know If You Have Cancer In Your Body

    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.

    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.

    Fatigue can:

    • 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.

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    How Long Does Cancer Fatigue Last

    Everyones experience with cancer fatigue is unique. For some people, fatigue lasts a few weeks. Others may feel exhausted for years. You may feel better when your cancer treatments stop, but often fatigue lingers.

    • Bone marrow transplants can cause prolonged fatigue that lasts up to a year.
    • Radiation therapy fatigue often gets worse as treatments progress. Fatigue should lessen a few months after you stop treatment.
    • Surgery tends to cause temporary fatigue that goes away after you recover.
    • Systemic treatments can cause fatigue that comes and goes. These treatments include chemotherapy, immunotherapy and targeted therapy. You may be exhausted while taking the medications and feel better during the recovery phase . When treatment resumes, you feel exhausted again. You should have more energy when you finish the treatment.

    What Can You Give A Cancer Patient For Energy

    18 People Describe What Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Feels ...

    Eat iron-rich foods.

    Your body needs iron to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen through your body and give you energy. An iron shortage can lead to anemia, which makes you really tired. Include iron-rich foods like spinach, lentils, beans, fortified cereals, and red meat in your diet.

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    How Do You Rule Out Colon Cancer

    Usually if a suspected colorectal cancer is found by any screening or diagnostic test, it is biopsied during a colonoscopy. In a biopsy, the doctor removes a small piece of tissue with a special instrument passed through the scope. Less often, part of the colon may need to be surgically removed to make the diagnosis.

    How Can Relatives Friends And Family Support Someone With Cancer

    Understanding what cancer-related fatigue is and having empathy is a good place to start. Many individuals feel that others dont understand or realize the magnitude of what they are going through. Being a support system to help with daily chores and tasks or providing a listening ear can provide a tremendous amount of help.

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    Would I Know If I Had Cancer

    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.

    Does Cancer Cause Pain All Over Body

    Session on Managing Cancer related Fatigue

    Muscle aches, also called myalgia, are a possible side effect of cancer and its treatment. You may feel an ache in a specific area of your body, or you may feel like your entire body aches. Some muscle aches are mildly uncomfortable, while others can be severe. They may last a short time or be constant for a long time.

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    How Would U Know U Have Cancer

    Although every case is different, some general signs and symptoms of cancer include: Weight loss Unexplained weight loss of 10 pounds or more may be one of the first signs of cancer. Weight loss is common in people who have pancreatic, stomach, esophageal, or lung cancer, but can occur with any type of cancer.

    How Can I Cope With The Emotional And Psychological Impact Of Fatigue

    Fatigue can have a big impact on how you feel and think. Many people struggle with the emotional effects of living with fatigue. Speak to your clinical nurse specialist or GP about how youre feeling.

    You could consider getting support from a talking therapist, such as a counsellor or psychologist. Talking therapists work in different ways to help people with difficult thoughts and feelings. Cognitive behavioural therapy is one type of talking therapy. Often, it involves adapting the way you think about things in order to cope more easily with your situation. Sometimes, it includes addressing other difficulties that might be connected to the fatigue, such as sleep difficulties and explaining your fatigue to those around you.

    It can take a little while to notice improvements. Instead of reflecting on what you were able to manage to do last week, it can be helpful to compare what you can do now to what you were able to do last month.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Stage 1 Colon Cancer

    SymptomsA persistent change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool.Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool.Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain.A feeling that your bowel doesnt empty completely.Weakness or fatigue.Unexplained weight loss.

    How To Know Its Ms Fatigue

    Fatigue and pancreatic cancer

    Even though fatigue happens in most people with MS, itâs possible other things could be dragging you down.

    Non-MS fatigue, also called secondary fatigue, can happen when you have another condition such as:

    • Mood disorders like depression
    • Infections
    • Thyroid issues

    âIf youâre up at night because you feel like you have to empty your bladder often, or your sleep is disrupted because of loud snoring and frequent awakenings because of sleep apnea, or muscle cramps ⦠then itâs not surprising your day is hindered by fatigue,â Serra says.

    You may also feel fatigued as a side effect of a medication youâre on, or from drug or alcohol use.

    Most of these are issues your doctor can help you manage and treat.

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    How Can I Manage Fatigue When At Work Or Returning To Work After Treatment

    Reintegrating back into work is an important topic that isn’t talked about enough. One of the main problems of fatigue in people with cancer is that it is invisible to others. Speaking up and saying something is a good first step. Its important to have a dialogue with your supervisor so that adjustments and accommodations can be made, like working a shortened schedule or working from home a few days a week. Cancer is included as part of the Americans with Disabilities Act . It is hard for someone who has never experienced cancer-related fatigue to fully understand what you are going through. When you are fatigued at work, try to take regular small breaks, even if its just a couple of minutes to take a few deep breaths, do relaxation exercises, or take a walk, each of which can help give you energy.

    If you or a loved one is living with cancer-related fatigue, always remember to say something.Its importantto talk with your health care team about it. They can assess if there are any physical issues that may be contributing to the fatigue. Doing something to address the cancer-related fatigue is the most important step you can take. Just dealing with it, hoping it goes away, or staying silent doesnt help. Remember: youre not alone in this, and there is support available.

    Is It Normal For Cancer Patients To Sleep All The Time

    You may experience fatigue if cancer treatment damages healthy cells in addition to the cancer cells. Or fatigue might happen as your body works to repair damage caused by treatment. Some treatment side effects such as anemia, nausea, vomiting, pain, insomnia and changes in mood also may cause fatigue.

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    Managing Symptoms Of Cancer

    There are things you can do to help manage the symptoms of fatigue.

    Eating well and drinking lots of fluids can help increase your energy levels. Your doctor or nurse can give you advice on your diet.

    Being physically active can also improve your energy levels and increase your appetite. Start slowly and increase the amount of activity you do over time. Try setting yourself small goals that you can achieve, such as walking to the front door. Some exercise, even a small amount, is better than no exercise at all. Its important to get advice from your doctor before you do any new physical activity. They may refer you to a physiotherapist for further advice.

    You may find that you feel more stressed when you are having treatment. This can make you feel more tired. Try to make time to relax. There are relaxation techniques you can use to relieve tension and increase your energy. Complementary therapies may also help you cope with fatigue and help you to relax. Speak to your GP about using these therapies.

    There arent any licensed drug treatments for fatigue, but they are being researched. Steroid drugs can be helpful for some people. Your cancer specialist can talk about this with you.

    What Does Cancer Tired Feel Like

    Why Do I Feel So Tired After Radiation

    The fatigue felt by people with cancer is different from the fatigue of daily life and different from the tired feeling people might remember having before they had cancer. People with cancer might describe it as feeling very weak, listless, drained, or washed out that may decrease for a while but then comes back.

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    Frequently Asked Questions About Fatigue And Lymphoma

    Below, we answer some questions that people often have about fatigue. Speak to your medical team for advice specific to your situation.

    You might also be interested in our coping with fatigue webinar, jointly hosted with Leukaemia Care. It addresses common questions about fatigue and suggests ways to help you cope with it. You can watch it on our website and the slides are also available to download.

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