Why fatigued when no therapy?

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Question from Tlh: Why am I so tired when I did not need chemo or radiation therapy, only a mastectomy? Is it from stress?
Answers - Russell Portenoy It's been appreciated for a long time that there can be a fatigue syndrome that follows surgery, even in minor procedures. It is also clear that stress, which can interfere with sleep or nutrition or become associated with depressed mood, can also be involved in causing or sustaining fatigue. Finally, there can sometimes be problems like anemia that can occur in the perioperative period, or an association with the underlying disease that might be a cause. Again, the need to do an evaluation based on what we now know about fatigue is very important. And patients should not be afraid to discuss this with their doctors, many of whom don't appreciate the need to do this evaluation.
Marisa Weiss, M.D. Regardless of your treatment, the fear and uncertainty of a cancer diagnosis is enough to steal a lot of your energy away over a period of days to weeks, if not longer.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Ease Fatigue, Boost Energy featured Lillian Nail, Ph.D., R.N., Russel Portenoy, M.D., and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about ways to manage fatigue and increase energy levels.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in March 2001.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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