What might you experience ?
Fatigue is one of the most common problems suffered by people with cancer affecting 70% to 80% of patients. You may find some of the following symptoms familiar:
You’re more tired than usual and even after resting and sleeping the tiredness persists
It’s a struggle to concentrate or focus your mind on tasks disrupting your daily routine and impacting your work and social life.
Everyday tasks are more difficult and you become breathless easily
- You have mood swings and are more likely to feel sad, depressed and irritable.
Why does this happen?
Fatigue can be caused by the cancer tumour itself, side effects from your treatment and the emotional distress of cancer diagnosis. Contributors to fatigue include:
Tumours cause the body to have higher than normal levels of cytokines and researchers are investigating the link that cytokines may cause fatigue through affecting the hormones and chemicals that nerves use to communicate
Anaemia is a common side effect of cancer treatment. Sufferers have a reduced red blood cell count, lowering the amount of oxygen available to the body to create energy
Dehydration and poor nutrition as a result of lack of appetite, vomiting or diarrhoea result in the body not being able to maintain energy levels, leading to tiredness
- The stress of managing doctors appointments, constant tests & dealing with the details of your disease can leave sufferers feeling mentally and physically exhausted.