A Guide to Chemotherapy

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Fatigue from cancer treatment

Fatigue is one of the most common side effects of cancer treatment. It can range from mild tiredness to feeling completely wiped out. It’s different from feeling tired after a long day and doesn’t get better with rest or sleep. Fatigue tends to be the worst at the end of a treatment cycle. Like most other side effects, it usually goes away over time after chemo ends.

Things that may help with fatigue:

  • Get plenty of rest, and allow time during the day for rest periods.
  • Talk with your doctor or nurse about a regular exercise program. Exercise can actually reduce fatigue.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet, and drink plenty of liquids.
  • Limit your activities. Do only the things that are most important to you.
  • Get help when you need it. Ask family, friends, and neighbors to pitch in with things like child care, shopping, housework, or driving. For example, you might ask neighbors to pick up some items for you at the grocery store while doing their own shopping.
  • Get up slowly to help prevent dizziness after sitting or lying down.
  • Let your doctor know if you are having a hard time sleeping at night.

You can learn more in our document called Fatigue in People With Cancer, which you can read online or call us to have a free copy sent to you.


Last Medical Review: 08/11/2014
Last Revised: 08/24/2014