TAMPA, Fla. (May 30, 2014) Fatigue is a debilitating problem for cancer patients undergoing treatment; however, it also poses a huge detriment after treatment and can significantly affect quality of life. Approximately 30 percent of cancer patients endure persistent fatigue for several years after treatment, according to an American Society of Clinical Oncology Expert Panel co-chaired by Paul Jacobsen, Ph.D., associate center director of Population Sciences at Moffitt Cancer Center.
ASCO created the panel to develop assessment, screening, and treatment guidelines for medical professionals to help patients who experience fatigue after completing primary treatment. The panel analyzed several national guidelines from the United States and Canada, and reviewed published studies about cancer-related fatigue to create the new guidelines.
The panel recommends that all health care professions regularly screen and measure fatigue and other associated problems in cancer patients through health history, physical examinations, and laboratory analysis. It is important for all patients to be educated about fatigue and its associated medical problems.
Fatigue in cancer patients after treatment can arise from other problems, such as depression, pain, anxiety, nutritional deficits, medications, or emotional distress. The panel recommends that all contributing factors should be identified and treated before the symptoms of fatigue are addressed.
There are a number of treatment and care options for patients experiencing continued fatigue. "Studies show that initiating or maintaining adequate levels of physical activity can reduce cancer-related fatigue in post-treatment patients. Physicians should actively encourage all patients to engage in a moderate level of physical activity after cancer treatment, dependent on risk of injury," said Jacobsen.
Behavioral and psychoeducational therapies have also been reported to reduce fat
|Contact: Kim Polacek|
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute