Understanding Chemotherapy: A Guide for Patients and Families

+ -Text Size

TOPICS

Previous Topic

Anemia

Next Topic

Hair loss

Fatigue

What is fatigue?

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 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.
  • 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 on our Web site or call us to have a copy sent to you.


Last Medical Review: 03/07/2013
Last Revised: 03/07/2013