What is cancer related fatigue?

People often describe the feeling of being exhausted, washed out or weary and generally lacking in energy.

However, for some people who are experiencing cancer, fatigue can occur which feels much more severe and longer lasting. This is called cancer related fatigue (CRF ).

CRF is characterised by a persistent lack of energy and/or weakness and does not go away even with rest. CRF is a common symptom of cancer and cancer treatment and can affect anybody regardless of their type of cancer, age or stage of treatment. It has been estimated that one quarter to nearly all patients with cancer experience fatigue during and after treatment.

Cancer related fatigue can quickly impact on work, social relationships, mood, daily activities and quality of life. It is not surprising therefore, that CRF is increasingly recognised as one of the most common and distressing side effects of cancer and its treatments.

What causes cancer related fatigue?

Causes can be both physiological and psychosocial and will include the type of cancer, the type of treatment or issues such as anaemia or hormone changes. Physiological factors are reduced appetite and pain which both contribute to fatigue. There are also psychosocial factors which contribute to CRF such as anxiety, stress, depression and low mood which can be a significant drain on your energy levels.

Strive Clinic's integrated team of specialist rehabilitation professionals have experience in working with this common side effect of cancer and cancer treatment. For further information or to schedule an appointment with one of the team telephone (091 ) 393180 or email [email protected]


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