Exhaustion can seem to be a
regular part of our busy schedules but cancer related fatigue (CRF) can be a
paralyzing symptom of cancer or side effect of chemotherapy. The excessive
whole-body tiredness experienced by some cancer patients does not seem to
relate directly to a specific cause, and in many cases the direct cause of the
fatigue remains unknown. CRF can be dependent on the type and stage of a
patient’s cancer, as well as the individual’s otherwise physical and emotional
state. Many conventional cancer treatments are thought to cause cancer
related fatigue. Here are alternative Cancer Treatment Mexico’s top tips to help you combat this extreme fatigue..
Tiredness vs. Fatigue
With today’s fast paced lifestyle by the end of the day it is normal to feel exhausted and tired. But tiredness is often confused with fatigue. Whereas tiredness usually is expected because of the activities of the day, and is cured by a good night sleep, fatigue is not linked to a direct cause-and-effect. Fatigue is a total lack of energy, excessive whole-body exhaustion that is no relieved by sleep. Fatigue can last weeks to months, and can have a significant impact on quality of life. Cancer-related fatigue (commonly called cancer fatigue or CRF) is one of the most common side effects of a cancer treatment, regardless if its breast cancer treatment or any other type. Patients who suffer from CRF often describe it as paralyzing, with little cause-and-effect correlation. Most cancer patients find that sleep or resting does not relieve CRF.
Causes of Cancer Fatigue
While the exact cause of cancer fatigue is unknown, it is related to both the disease process and a number of different cancer treatments including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and biological therapies. Additionally other factors may contribute to cancer related fatigue including anemia, decreased nutrition, pain, stress, depression and other medications used to combat side effects.
Options to Fight Fatigue
According to a study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting, daily dosages of ginseng lead to a reduction in fatigue in twenty-five percent of cases. A second study conducted by Vanderbilt University shows that women who began taking ginseng after a diagnosis of breast cancer, taking an average of 1.3g of ginseng root per day, reported having more energy and better sleep than those women who did not take ginseng. This evidence links ginseng to improving fatigue and therefore overall quality of life for breast cancer patients.
Regular exercise can also help women with breast cancer reduce fatigue as well as improve sleep, emotional distress and improve overall quality of life. Ask a family member or friend to go with you to keep you going and leave the cancer talk at home.
Stress is often cited as a factor that contributes to cancer related fatigue, so managing stress can also help address CRF. While coping with a cancer diagnosis and cancer treatment in itself is stress, it is important to find ways to manage that stress. Some remedies that have shown to reduce stress among cancer patients include deep breathing exercises, visualization exercises, massage therapy, and acupuncture. And don’t forget the power of laughter; spend time with the comedian in your family or watch a comedy.
Battling cancer is exhausting, add cancer related fatigue to the equation and it can seem nearly impossible to keep going. By adding some of these fatigue fighting tips to your daily routine, you may be able to combat the cancer fatigue and improve your quality of life during and after cancer treatment.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with breast cancer and you are considering your breast cancer treatment options, find out why our success rates outweigh those of conventional therapy. To learn more about the range of treatments that we have available, their cost and whether they can help you or a loved one, please contact us and a specialist will call you back.