Fatigue is defined as an abnormal condition that occurs on any given day and can persist for more than 2 weeks. Manifestations can include lack of motivation and interest in activities, exhaustion, weakness, sleep disturbances, irritability, and sadness. There appears to be a reduction in energy that is disproportionate to tasks performed, and associated distress due to decreased physical and intellectual performance related to the disease and/or treatment. Adults perceive cancer-related fatigue in a multidimensional manner, including sensory, affective, behavioral, and cognitive dimensions. Sensory elements refer to the mental, physical, and emotional symptoms of fatigue. Examples of sensory elements are feeling lively/listless, strong/weak, or refreshed/tired. Affective elements denote the emotional meaning attributed to fatigue, such as pleasant/unpleasant or positive/negative sensations. Behavioral indicators include elements such as fatigue distress, and intensity and severity of fatigue. Cognitive/mood factors include the ability to concentrate and feelings such as being relaxed or tense. Intensity of fatigue worsens with the cumulative effects of cancer treatment. [Crap!] Greater fatigue was related to more sleep problems, mouth sores, and nausea. Greater fatigue was also related to lower activity levels among women on chemotherapy for breast cancer. Fatigue has been shown to increase at intervals over the course of cancer treatment. Looks like I'm screwed!
Friday, January 8, 2010
They aren't kidding when they talk about cancer related fatigue. Expressions like "bone tired", "exhausted", and "against the wall" are descriptions used by people with cancer to depict the overwhelming fatigue experienced. Fatigue continues to be the most prevalent and disruptive symptom of cancer and its treatment regimens often lingering beyond the treatment phase of the disease. Potential causes of fatigue include preexisting conditions, physical and psychological symptoms caused by cancer, and the consequences of treatment. The fatigue experienced from cancer and its treatment differs greatly from acute or chronic fatigue experienced by the general population from a variety of etiologies. Cancer-related fatigue is described as being a more intense, chronic, and disruptive symptom that is unrelieved by rest.