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Cancer-Related Fatigue

Posted by Geoff Beaty on 28 August 2021
Cancer-Related Fatigue

Fatigue is one of the most common side effects of living with cancer, and it can have a big impact, both physically and emotionally.

Between 70 to 100 percent of patients suffer cancer-related fatigue, which for many, presents as an unprecedented wave of exhaustion.

No matter how much rest you get, you can still be left feeling weak in energy and listless, as well as mentally and emotionally zapped.

Even simple things like preparing a meal or using the TV remote can loom as massive feats, cancer experts say.

Some people find they can only do one or two things before feeling exhausted, when they would usually have been able to do many more tasks in a day

That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the signs of fatigue and address them early. Muscle aches and pains and difficulty concentrating can be less obvious symptoms.

The good news is that as awareness rises about the toll of cancer-related fatigue, so to have the range of treatments and approaches to reduce it.

Here’s some of our best tips to start with: 

Get moving

It may feel counter-intuitive, but the evidence is undeniable - exercise is one of the best ways to combat many of the effects of living with cancer, including fatigue. Continue your daily walks or activities as best you can. 

You are what you eat

Even though your appetite may have subsided, you’ll need to ensure you are getting adequate nutrition. Eat well-balanced meals, drink plenty of fluids, and avoid too much sugar and alcohol. Talk to one of our qualified Naturopaths if you have any specific questions or concerns.

Reduce stress

We are here to help. Ask about our wellness programs Simple ways to reduce stress includes listening to music, reading a book, relaxation and meditation.

Listen to your body

Set small manageable goals when planning your day but ensure rest periods are included. Think of ways to save your energy and break your daily activities up into smaller tasks. This could entail sitting down to fold the washing and then taking a break before you hang out the next load. Don't vacuum the whole house, just do one room and take a rest. If you are finding it difficult to shop, try online shopping. Many supermarket chains now offer an online service. And don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for help. This is a time when you will need them the most.

Author:Geoff Beaty


  • The Institute for Functional Medicine
  • Society for Integrative Oncology
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Australian Traditional-Medicine Society
  • Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia