Reader question: I’ve had surgeries and treatments for cancer, and today I’ve completed treatment. All the treatment made me develop into what doctors call fatigue, so I am very tired and uncomfortable. Why do you get tired and what can you do?
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The doctor answers: It may have several reasons
Fatigue, or extreme tiredness, is a term we use primarily in cancer. Fatigue can have several causes, and you need to know what the reasons may be in each individual case.
Getting a cancer diagnosis, living with anxiety, and undergoing multiple treatments all have mental effects. Many cancer treatments have the side effects of fatigue because they affect the body and must kill cells or systems. The immune system is affected and the metabolism can become unbalanced. You can lose appetite and both illness and treatment require energy, and you can lose weight and lack energy and nutrition.
Those who adhere to your treatment should verify that all values are good
It’s not uncommon for you to end up on a treadmill – you don’t have the strength to move and get tired of it. Sleep can be affected, leaving you tired and unable to eat or exercise.
Those who adhere to your treatment should verify that all values are good. Sometimes, you can develop anemia related to cancer, which can be treated with tablets, syringes, or drops.
To get rid of fatigue, the advice is to move as quickly and as you can. Gradually increase the exercise.
If sleep is worse, help and advice are often available through the treatment clinic. Sometimes, being tired can partly be an expression of depression, which is important to get help. Contact your cancer clinic or health center.
Ask the doctor
Gunilla Hasselgren is a Specialist in General Medicine and Honorary Doctor of Medicine at Uppsala University.
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