Jacobs Journal of Cancer Science and Research

Cancer-Related Fatigue and Its Management

*Timothy Allen
Department Of Oncology, Center For Excellence In Research And Development, United States

*Corresponding Author:
Timothy Allen
Department Of Oncology, Center For Excellence In Research And Development, United States

Published on: 2015-03-14


Fatigue is the most common symptom found in the cancer patients, with a prevalence of more than 60%, as reported in the major part of various studies. This paper mainly reviews the management of the cancer related fatigue. In this paper, various pharmacologic agents are discussed for the management of fatigue in cancer patients and these agents comprises of psychostimulants, anti-depressants, corticosteroids, and hematopoietic. There are some other therapeutic agents such as paroxetine (serotonin reuptake inhibitors), bupropion, modafinil, and l-carnitine, but these agents are less studied for cancer related fatigue and at present, these agents are focusing on different clinical trials.


Cancer; Fatigue; Corticosteroids; Anti-Depressants; Exercise


The word fatigue comes from a Greek word, which means a lack or loss of strength of the body. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms seen in the cancer patients. The continuous nature of the cancer treatment, their effects on physical and psychological aspects of patients’ lives, and the compromised quality of the life during active treatment phase contributes to fatigue. The mechanism that underlies the onset and persistence of cancer-related fatigue has not been fully determined. Fatigue is the most common symptoms in the cancer patients and it is the most stressful symptom among all the symptoms which is related to cancer treatment because it significantly destroys the ability to function daily work and quality of life of patients. The important basics of cancer related fatigue are lack of ability to be relaxed through the sleep or rest, harmful effects on the quality of life, persistence, and pervasiveness. The cancer patients should be evaluated with fatigue or its fatigue levels and its treatment option should be selected on the basis of the level of fatigue and pathology in the cancer patients. The pathology helps in examining the patients with specific causes such as metabolic disorder, depression, sleep disorder, and anemia for fatigue. There are various non-specific therapies which is useful in the management of short and long term cancer related fatigue. The anti-depressants, psychostimulants, hematopoietic, and corticosteroids are also used in the management of the cancer related fatigue.