There is a difference between the fatigue of daily life and cancer-related fatigue, the fatigue that comes with cancer. Before people have cancer, they did not feel this kind of tiredness as in cancer-related fatigue. A little activity can be exhausting and rest cannot lessen or remove it. There is a feeling of weakness in the people and they feel drained out. Simple tasks like eating and going to the bathroom can be too tiring for some people. This kind of fatigue causes more distress than pain, nausea, vomiting or depression for these people. An oncologist in Kolkata can help you in dealing with this.
Keep an eye for the following signs of cancer-related fatigue:
- Tiredness that keeps coming back or doesn’t go away with rest or sleep
- During or after an activity, you are more tired than usual
- In spite of no activity, you feel tired
- Doing normal activities feel tiresome for you
- There is a heaviness in your arms and legs and you find it hard to move
- There is no energy left in you
- There is a feeling of weakness in you
- You sleep more or may have trouble sleeping
The causes of cancer-related fatigue may be both cancer and its treatment including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The cancer treatments that normally result in cancer-related fatigue are:
- Chemotherapy- Fatigue may happen due to any chemotherapy drug.
- Radiation therapy- Cumulative fatigue (fatigue that increases over time) can result from radiation therapy.
- Bone marrow transplant- The cancer-related fatigue that happens due to this treatment can last up to one year.
- Biologic therapy- When there is an infection, white blood cells release cytokines.
These are natural cell proteins. These cytokines can be toxic when they are in high number and can lead to constant fatigue.
Managing cancer-related fatigue
The treatment of the underlying cause is the best way to manage cancer-related fatigue. There can be effective results if some medicines are used. Energy conservation, nutrition, exercise and stress management are some ways to manage cancer-related fatigue.
You should talk to your cancer doctor in Kolkata to get proper consultation, although it is a common side effect of cancer and its treatments. To manage your fatigue, the doctor will take the necessary steps to control some of the causes of fatigue. If you have increased shortness of breath, uncontrolled pain, side effects from cancer treatment like nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea that you cannot control by yourself, uncontrollable anxiety or nervousness and ongoing depression, you must let your doctor know.