Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, OSW-C Program Manager, Oncology Social Work
APRIL 12, 2017
Yes, I know that this is a second post today, but I will be traveling tomorrow and not able to keep up with my responsibilities.
Although many new cancer patients, facing chemotherapy for the first time, worry most about nausea/vomiting and hair loss, it turns out that fatigue is the biggest problem for many people. Cancer-related fatigue happens for many reasons: recovery from surgery, as a predicted side effect from radiation or chemotherapy, as part of a slow recovery when treatment has ended.
Although it may seem counter-intuitive, gentle exercise is one of the most helpful remedies. There long ago was a study in which patients were assigned to three responses to fatigue: take a half hour nap, take a half hour or less walk, have a cup of coffee or tea or something with caffeine. Those who took the walk felt the best. There are other strategies, even a few that include medications. Read on....
From Cure Today comes this article:
Developing Methods to Fight Cancer-Related Fatigue
Cancer treatments are unlike any other medical procedures. For many, they can cause an overwhelming sense of drowsiness, exhaustion and weakness — despite plenty of rest. Cancer treatment-related fatigue is unlike normal, everyday fatigue, the wear and tear that comes after a long day at the office or a hard workout at the gym. Cancer-related fatigue can feel like being stuck in a car that won’t shift out of first gear. Patients with cancer are likely all too familiar with this. Estimates suggest that nearly 90 percent of patients undergoing radiation therapy and 80 percent treated with chemotherapy experience cancer-related fatigue.
For more than 20 years, the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Foundation has worked to provide nurse scientists with funding and support as they conduct research related to fatigue symptoms. Through this area of study, new, evidence-based practices are being incorporated into treatment plans throughout the country.