Cancer-related fatigue is the most common side-effect that patients face during and after cancer treatments. The extent and symptoms of fatigue may differ for each individual but the persistent sense of physical and emotional tiredness is a common indication. Cancer patients have reported fatigue due to feelings of acute anxiety, grief, stress or depression.
This enduring fatigue can arise during any of the cancer treatments including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, bone marrow transplant, etc. The duration of cancer-related fatigue can last between two weeks to one year.
Here are some tips advised by doctors to help you cope with cancer-related fatigue to some extent:
1. Assess your fatigue level, time and reason
The first step to managing cancer-related fatigue is to find out the cause of it. Make a note of things like whether you feel worn out before or after your therapy; in the day or evening; duration and extent of fatigue. This will help you in devising methods to counter your weakest moments.
2. Follow a routine of exercise
Studies suggest that by adding a daily ritual of exercise, patients can reduce the effects of cancer-related fatigue. But, do not aim for difficult or unfeasible physical exertion. Opt for a 15-20 minute exercise that includes a mix of walking, yoga and strength training. Exercise should be your recreation and not add to your stress.
3. Do not overdo or trim down your sleep hours
Sleeping for the right duration can help in fighting fatigue but oversleeping can lead to idleness. Waking up on time is as important as a short siesta in the afternoon. If you find it difficult to fall asleep, involve yourself in soothing activities like reading, listening to music, taking a shower or meditating.
If you need further assistance in managing cancer-related fatigue, book a consultation at the best cancer hospital in Pune.