Fatigue is probably the one symptom shared by nearly all women being treated for breast cancer. A study shows that fatigue affects the quality of life of women with breast cancer more than any other symptom.
There are many causes of fatigue and one cause can affect all the others. Sometimes fatigue is related to your body's reaction to the cancer. The therapies used to treat breast cancer also can cause fatigue. The emotional roller coaster of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment just adds to the other causes of fatigue.
If you're experiencing fatigue related to breast cancer, you know how real it is and how much it can affect your quality of life. Still, there are a number of things you can do to minimize fatigue and its impact on your life. Here are just a few:
- Get regular, moderate exercise. It may seem strange, but moderate, regular exercise—such as a daily walk or swim—often minimizes fatigue.
- Eat well and keep well-hydrated. More than ever, your body needs healthy fuel and fluids to heal and restore itself.
- Take a nap if you feel like it.
- Get a good night's sleep.
- Ask your doctor about medical causes for your fatigue and what you can do to treat them. Anemia is known to cause fatigue and can be treated with medicine.
For much more information about fatigue, its causes, and the things you can do to minimize it, visit the Breastcancer.org Fatigue section.