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Coping with Cancer Fatigue

Last updated 4 years ago

Patients with cancer frequently experience fatigue, which can affect a person physically, emotionally, and mentally. Fatigue is often caused by cancer treatment as well as the cancer itself. Although fatigue isn’t likely to be serious enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room, it can certainly interfere with your daily activities and decrease your quality of life. Talk with your oncologist about ways of managing your fatigue.

Balance Activity with Rest

If you have severe fatigue, it can be tempting to lie in bed all day. Cancer experts typically advise patients to take short naps of 30 minutes or less throughout the day, rather than one very long nap. Resting too much can actually reduce your energy. In between resting, try to incorporate some moderate exercise into your routine, such as going for a walk. Exercise can boost your energy levels.

Determine Your Priorities

When you’re going through cancer treatments, it can be helpful to prioritize your activities. Decide which activities you must do each day, and ask family members or friends to help you with the rest.

Plan Soothing Activities

Because of the frustrating nature of severe fatigue, it can quickly consume your thoughts. Many cancer patients have found it helpful to plan quiet activities to distract themselves from their fatigue, such as reading a book or watching a favorite movie.

Consult a Registered Dietitian

Oncologists often advise cancer patients to work with a registered dietitian. Your dietitian can not only help you deal with issues such as loss of appetite; he or she can also provide nutritional advice to combat fatigue. Generally, it’s advisable for patients to consume plenty of fluids and to eat enough protein.

At Oak Hill Hospital, our caring physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers work together to provide a personalized, patient-centered treatment plan for those battling cancer. In addition to our state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment options, we provide support groups, cancer education, nutrition support, religious support, and much more. Families throughout Spring Hill and Brooksville can call us at (888) 741-5120 or visit our website to explore our other service areas, including robotic surgery, spine care, heart care, and emergency care.


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