Most cancer patients undergoing cancer therapies feel tired or weak and this can be due to several factors like side effects of cancer treatments, the cancer disease, etc. This blog delves into the various factors that cause chemotherapy fatigue and the necessary medical therapies, medications and personal care suggestions that cancer consultants at cancer chemotherapy centres in Coimbatore provide to deal with it.

What causes cancer fatigue?

Fatigue in individuals undergoing cancer treatments can vary and is caused due to multiple factors, which include :

1) As a result of your cancer : The cancer cells in your body can cause several changes like releasing protein elements called cytokines, which can exhaust you. Certain cancers can make your body require more energy, weaken your muscle systems, cause damage to certain organs like the liver, kidney, heart or lungs or impact your hormone levels. The cancer affecting your body causes all these changes eventually making you get tired easily.

2) Fatigue due to cancer therapies : Cancer treatments like chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, bone marrow transplantation and immunotherapy can also exhaust you. These treatments, in addition to destroying cancer cells, damage your body’s healthy cells.

You can feel tired as your body tries to repair the damage caused to its healthy cells due to cancer treatments. Certain cancer treatments can cause anemia, nausea, vomiting, pain, insomnia and mood swings, which can also cause fatigue.

3) Anaemia : When cancer treatments destroy too many healthy red blood cells it can make you anemic. You can also become anaemic when your cancer spreads to your bone marrow, interfering with the production of blood cells or making you lose blood.

4) Persistent pain due to cancer   : Due to constant pain you might become less active and depressed and not feel like eating or sleeping, making you exhausted.

5) Emotional impact : When you are diagnosed with cancer, it can make you feel anxious and depressed, emotionally draining you, which can easily tire you.

6) Lack of proper sleep: Cancer treatments can affect your sleep routines and can also make you experience fatigue.

7) Inadequate nutrition : A healthy diet provides the necessary nutrition and energy to make your body function efficiently. But cancer treatments can cause nausea or vomiting, not allowing you to eat properly. This makes it hard for your body to get enough nutrients through the food, impacting your body functions and making you exhausted.

8) Cancer medication: Certain cancer medicines like pain relievers, etc, can also cause fatigue.

9) Lack of physical activity: Cancer can impact your metabolism, slowing down your body systems and making you feel less energetic than you used to be.

10) Hormonal changes: Hormone therapy is part of cancer treatments, which can alter your body’s hormone levels. Some cancer treatments can influence your hormone levels, causing imbalance. All these cancer treatments have multiple side effects and can easily tire you.

When should you discuss with your doctor about cancer fatigue?

Cancer fatigue is normal during cancer treatments, but if the condition is persistent, lasting more than a few days and not allowing you to carry on your routine activities, then it’s best to discuss with your cancer consultants about the persistent issue.

If you are prone to severe fatigue, cancer consultants at the Best Oncology Hospitals in Erode will examine you to know about the severity and type of your symptoms.

When you approach your doctor for persistent exhaustion, he might perform a thorough physical exam and might question you about:

  • When did you start experiencing symptoms of exhaustion?
  • Has your fatigue state advanced since your diagnosis?
  • How extreme is your fatigue condition?
  • How long does your tiredness last?
  • What eases your exhaustion?
  • What makes your exhaustion worse?
  • How does your fatigue affect your routine life?
  • Do you experience shortness of breath or chest discomfort along with exhaustion?
  • How undisturbed are your sleep patterns at night?
  • How and what kind of foods do you include in your diet?
  • Are you feeling emotionally balanced?

Depending on the type of cancer treatments and medicines you are taking, cancer consultants might recommend diagnostics and therapies specific to your condition.

Medical treatments and personal care to cope with persistent fatigue:

Cancer fatigue is caused due to multiple factors and cancer consultants at radiation treatment centres in Coimbatore suggest a combination of medical treatments and personal care approaches to help you cope with persistent exhaustion.

Medical interventions :

Medical therapies and medicines can treat some of the underlying causes like anemia, etc. which makes you get tired easily. For example, blood transfusions can help treat anaemia or medications are prescribed to stimulate your bone marrow to produce more red blood cells.

If you are in a depressed or stressful state of mind, cancer consultants might suggest taking medications to help balance your emotions and improve your appetite and your well-being.

Sleep medications can help you sleep better and relieve tiredness. Certain medications can have a negative impact and worsen your condition, so it’s essential to achieve the right balance with medication, therapies and proper personal care.

Personal care strategies to deal with persistent fatigue:

  • The vital aspect, while undergoing cancer treatments is to remember to relax and take appropriate rest with short naps rather than resting for longer durations.
  • Preserve your energy for important activities, note down at what time during the day you are at your best and try to do all important chores during those times. Do not tire yourself by doing all activities by yourself, it’s okay to take support when needed.
  • Stay hydrated and try to take a lot of fluids, if you are unable to eat solid food.
  • Keep yourself fit and active with moderate exercise, it may also reduce your fatigue symptoms during cancer treatments.
  • Try to relax by doing meditation, yoga and following mindful practices.
  • Your doctor might sometimes prescribe supplements to deal with fatigue

The exhaustion and fatigue you are experiencing during cancer therapies can annoy you, negatively influencing your ability to get through the day. Do not feel anxious during these tough times, discuss with your doctor, seek help with your family or friends when needed and take it in your stride.