Fatigue may also be referred to as tiredness, lack of energy, or weakness.
Feeling tired and weak is a common side effect of cancer and cancer treatment*
Symptoms of Fatigue
- General weakness or feeling of heaviness
- Difficulty concentrating or paying attention
- Problems with memory or thinking clearly
- Decreased interest in usual activities
- Difficulty performing daily tasks
- Sleep problems such as difficulty sleeping or feeling tired after waking up.
When to call your oncologist or oncology nurse: *
When your fatigue interferes with your ability to carry out your normal daily activities.
* If you are receiving treatment with an immunotherapy agent (i.e. Nivolumab (OPDIVO) and experiencing fatigue, interfering with your daily activities, contact your oncology care provider immediately.
Things you may do to prevent or minimize fatigue:
- Prioritize activities to conserve energy
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat a well-balanced diet
- Light exercise such as walking on a daily basis.
- Do relaxing activities such as reading, listening to music or other activities that you enjoy
- Limit naps to one hour during the day if unable to sleep at night
- If you drink caffeine containing beverages (coffee, black or green tea, and certain sodas), limit intake to the early part of the day, and avoid caffeine in the late afternoon and evening, since caffeine can interfere with sleep.
- Alternative therapies such as acupuncture or massage
Discuss with your healthcare team if there may be other reasons or treatment options that may help with your fatigue
It’s ok to ask for help and allow others to assist you
If you feel overwhelmed, it may help to remember
- Fatigue is normal during cancer treatment
- Fatigue does not mean that the treatment is not working
- Fatigue is not caused by lack of willpower
You should rely primarily upon your doctor for medical information.