beth israel deaconess medical center a harvard medical school teaching hospital

  • Contact BIDMC
  • Maps & Directions
  • Other Locations
  • Careers at BIDMC
  • Smaller Larger

Find a Doctor

Request an Appointment

Smaller Larger


Posted 9/26/2016

Posted in

  There is fatigue due to too short nights or too much exercise or too much partying or generally trying to pack too much into a day. And then there is cancer fatigue. Almost everyone who goes through cancer treatment experiences this special fatigue at some point. It is quite different than the more common varieties.

  In 1993 when I was being treated for my first breast cancer, I had concurrent chemotherapy and radiation therapy. I remember the fatigue of those weeks, the sudden intense feeling that I could not take another step and needed to lie down. But, if I were in a situation where I actually could lie down, sleep didn't come. It was just total body exhaustion without the promise of a healing slumber.

  This is an excellent article from about fatigue. Obviously this is relevant for people undergoing treatment for all kinds of cancer.

 August 2016 Ask the Expert: Fatigue

Breast cancer can cause extreme tiredness. Its treatments can as well. and associated with breast cancer can leave you with little energy, making it hard to live your life the way you want. People around you may not understand just how exhausting breast cancer and its
treatments can be.
This August, Living Beyond Breast Cancer expert Ann Berger, APRN, PhD, AOCNS, FAAN, will answer your questions about fatigue related to cancer, from why it happens and how to deal with it, to how to talk to friends, family members and co-workers about what you’re going through.
If you have questions about breast cancer-related fatigue, ask our expert today.

How is it possible to be so tired from fatigue and still suffer from insomnia?

Most of us have had the life experience that when you are tired, you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night and wake up refreshed in the morning.
When the tiredness is more intense and is related to cancer and cancer treatment, we call it "cancer-related ." This more intense tiredness is oftennot relieved by sleep and in fact, many people with cancer report that they develop along with fatigue. This is possible because
cancer-related fatigue comes from many causes, and is not related only to your sleep.

Read more:


Add your comment