|Chemotherapy Through Cardiovascular System|
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- Anemia—due to chemotherapy, which can kill red blood cells and affect the blood-forming cells in bone marrow
- Poor nutrition and dehydration—due to loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting
- Lack of oxygen—due to fewer red blood cells, which carry oxygen
- Hormonal changes—due to hormonal therapies, side effects of treatment, or type of cancer, such as thyroid cancer
- Lack of sleep
- Side effects of medicines
- Undergoing cancer treatment (such as chemotherapy, radiation, biologic response modifier therapy)
- Worsening of cancer
- Having a pre-existing condition (such as poor nutrition, breathing impairment)
- Having a history of depression or having family members with depression
- Extreme fatigue that is far worse than ordinary fatigue and that is not relieved by sleep
- No energy to do basic tasks, such as cooking dinner, making the bed, or answering the door
- Trouble concentrating and remembering
- Heaviness of arms and legs
- Poor balance
- Shortness of breath
- Impatience, irritability
- Have your symptoms been worsening? When do your symptoms appear and how long do they last?
- What medications are you taking?
- How often do you sleep and for how long?
- What are you eating?
- What makes you feel better? Worse?
- Have you been depressed?
- How has your work status and financial condition been affected by cancer?
- What kind of support system do you have?
- Medicines to treat the underlying condition (such as anemia)
- Do a light to moderate program. This may be to walk 15-30 minutes a day.
- Learn your exercise limits.
- Identify the times of day when you have the most energy.
Follow proper sleep and relaxation techniques:
- Relax before bed by listening to music or reading.
- Try not to nap for more than one hour.
- Get at least eight hours of sleep.
- Eat a healthy diet.
To help you have more control, schedule time to:
- Talk with a therapist to help you cope with your diagnosis.
- Talk with your employer about your work schedule and workload.
- Talk with a financial advisor to help you with your costs and to plan for the future.
American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org
National Cancer Institute http://www.cancer.gov
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca
National Cancer Institute of Canada http://www.ncic.cancer.ca
Cancer, chemotherapy, anemia and fatigue: what’s the connection? Anemia Institute website. Available at: http://www.anemiainstitute.org/index.php/en/Patient/Anemia-and-Cancer/Cancer,-Chemotherapy,-Anemia-and-Fatigue-What%E2%80%99s-the-Connection . Accessed November 19, 2008.
Cancer fatigue: it’s more than just being tired. EBSCO Patient Education Reference Center website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/nursing/products/patient-education-reference-center. Updated January 2007. Accessed November 8, 2008.
Cancer fatigue: why it occurs and how to cope. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cancer-fatigue/CA00032. Accessed November 19, 2008.
Coping with fatigue from chemotherapy. EBSCO Patient Education Reference Center website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/nursing/products/patient-education-reference-center. Updated July 2008. Accessed November 8, 2008.
Fatigue and cancer. International Cancer Council website. Available at: http://www.iccnetwork.org/cancerfacts/FatigueFactSheetJan2011RevPost.pdf. Accessed November 19, 2008.
Feeling tired vs. cancer-related fatigue. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/physicalsideeffects/fatigue/feeling-tired-vs-cancer-related-fatigue. Updated October 2008. Accessed November 8, 2008.
Lower EE, Fleishman S, et al. Efficacy of dexmethylphenidate for the treatment of fatigue after cancer chemotherapy: a randomized clinical trial. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2009 Nov;38(5):650-662.
Minton O, Richardson A, et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the pharmacological treatment of cancer-related fatigue. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2008 Aug 20;100(16):1155-1166.
Radiation therapy. EBSCO Patient Education Reference Center website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/nursing/products/patient-education-reference-center. Updated March 2008. Accessed November 8, 2008.
Stedman’s Medical Dictionary. 28th ed. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2005; 298.
What to do when you feel weak or tired. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/coping/radiation-side-effects/fatigue.pdf. Accessed November 8, 2008.
10/1/2013 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php: Patterson E, Wan YW, Sidani S. Nonpharmacological nursing interventions for the management of patient fatigue: a literature review. J Clin Nurs. 2013 Oct;22(19-20): 2668-2678.
11/4/2013 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance. Available at: http://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Yennurajalingam S, Frisbee-Hume S, et al. Reduction of cancer-related fatigue with dexamethasone: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial in patients with advanced cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2013 Sep1;31(25):3076-3082.
- Reviewer: Mohei Abouzied, MD
- Review Date: 12/2013 -
- Update Date: 01/13/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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