Sick boy in hospital

Symptom Management, Palliative Care, or Supportive Care to relieve side-effects is an important part of cancer care and treatment and should always form part of the overall treatment plan.

Cancer-related fatigue is a persistent feeling of physical, emotional, or mental tiredness or exhaustion related to cancer and/or its treatment.

Cancer-related fatigue is different to other types of fatigue (such as when a healthy individual does not sleep or relax enough), because it interferes with an individual’s regular functioning, does not reflect their level of activity, and does not improve with rest.

Most individuals receiving cancer treatment experience fatigue; some cancer survivors also experience fatigue that can last for months and even years after treatment has finished.

Fatigue often negatively affects the overall physical, psychological, social, and economic well-being of an individual who has cancer. For some, it is slightly bothersome, while for others the experience can be overwhelming.

Not all of the causes of cancer-related fatigue are well understood, and your child’s fatigue may be the result of more than one cause.

Fatigue could be as a result of living with constant pain; distress, depression, and anxiety; inability to sleep; inadequate nutrition; anaemia; the cancer treatments (chemotherapy, radiation therapy etc.); medications used to manage other side effects; or co-existing medical conditions such as heart problems, arthritis, lowered lung and kidney function, hormone problems, and nerve problems.

Many individuals with cancer benefit from mindfulness-based approaches such as yoga and acupuncture in managing cancer-related fatigue. Touch therapy, massage, music therapy, relaxation, reiki, and qigong may also be beneficial for reducing fatigue.


Read more about the Effects, Signs and Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment and more regarding Fatigue on our static page, Fatigue in Childhood Cancer


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