Cancer- Related Fatigue

Cancer-related fatigue is one of the most common and difficult side-effects of cancer and its treatments. More than 78% of people with cancer complain of fatigue, making it a common and challenging symptom. There may be several reasons why you may have fatigue, but research shows that exercise can help decrease fatigue in cancer patients. CRF can be a common side-effect of cancer treatments including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and bone marrow transplantation, and can prevent normal daily function and significantly impact quality of life.

Physical therapists create treatment plans that use physical activity to help cancer survivors manage side effects of treatment and cancer-related problems, improve their health and function, and return to work and other activities.

Your physical therapist can provide rehabilitation services to manage conditions related to cancer-related fatigue including (but not limited to):

  • Decreased endurance
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Low energy levels
  • Whole-body tiredness

By becoming more active, you can also begin to recondition your body and regain some of the strength that cancer treatment often takes away. Our therapists work with your physician to create a customized treatment plan including an individualized exercise and reconditioning program that can help reduce fatigue, increase activity, and increase well-being.

A therapist will work with you to develop a rehabilitation plan that’s right for you, including:

  • A home exercise program
  • An individualized assessment of strength, balance, endurance, and fatigue
  • An individualized exercise program based on the results of the initial assessment
  • A supervised exercise program where vital signs are monitored
  • Education on energy conservation techniques

If you or a loved one has CRF, this program can help restore the sense of health, energy, and well-being that may be missing. Research has proven that exercise is safe and beneficial during chemotherapy, radiation, and is safe and beneficial for patients with advanced disease. If you are struggling to regain your strength and endurance, talk to your physical therapist to help you get back to doing the things you enjoy.