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Helping Cancer Patients Fight Fatigue

Fatigue is the most frequent and distressing problem related to cancer and its treatment. Fatigue interferes with everyday living and has profound // effects on a patient’s ability to function in usual roles and activities for months or years. New research finds energy conservation and activity management called ECAM is beneficial for cancer patients going through drug therapy.

Energy conservation is the deliberate, planned management of one’s energy. Some strategies include taking additional rest periods, delegating work, pacing oneself, and planning high energy activities at times of peak energy.

To study if ECAM is effective for cancer patients, researchers in Philadelphia compared fatigue levels in cancer patients who received ECAM intervention or a nutrition intervention. The participants rated their fatigue before cancer treatment and at two times during the treatment.

Thus researchers conclude saying that after adjusting for many different factors, the ECAM group experienced a greater decrease in fatigue over time compared to the other group of patients.

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