Fatigue refers to the feeling of being very tired. Many factors may contribute to fatigue, including the cancer itself or the treatments used for cancer. Unlike normal fatigue which usually does not last long and gets better with rest, cancer-related fatigue may not be completely relieved by sleep or rest. The degree of fatigue varies from person to person, but it can have a negative impact on quality of life.
Causes of Fatigue
What you need to look out for
How it can be treated
The treatment of fatigue depends on its cause. For instance, fatigue caused by cancer pain will improve with pain control medications. Your doctor or nurse will ask you some questions about your fatigue, including when it started and whether it affects your daily life. Further tests may also be done to look for causes of fatigue that can be treated. Your doctor or nurse may also refer you to the rehabilitation physician, who can recommend a fatigue rehabilitation or exercise program that may help improve your fatigue.
What you can do
Although cancer related fatigue may persist, simple lifestyle changes may be useful in relieving or helping you cope with it. Some practical tips are as follows:
When to call your cancer care team
Please inform your doctor or nurse if you are
unwell or are
unable to do your daily activities because of your fatigue.
If you have any questions regarding the above, please call the Cancer Helpline at
+65 6225 5655 or approach your doctor or nurse for further details.
The above contents have been approved by the Cancer Education Information Service, National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS), for people with cancer and their families and caregivers.
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