Which doctor best evaluates fatigue?

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Question from LGarr: What kind of doctor is the best kind to evaluate fatigue?
Answers - Russell Portenoy The question can be asked, what type of physician is the best to evaluate fatigue and the answer is unfortunately that there is no fatigue specialist at this time and the best doctor is one who appreciates the problem, is willing to listen to a patient's complaints carefully, who knows enough about the problem to do an evaluation, and is willing to treat the problem as part of cancer care. Patients should expect their oncologists to have this interest and skill but of course, some do not. Patients should not be concerned about telling their doctor that this problem needs to be addressed more aggressively and they should not be concerned about seeking other opinions from other internists or even other oncologists as a way of trying to obtain better care for this problem.
Lillian Nail We always suggest to people that they say things like "I'm so tired," and give an example, like after chemotherapy. Or "I get short of breath when I walk the 5 stairs to my office." So you give people specific information about the situation.
Marisa Weiss, M.D. It is also important to point out how different this is before the whole situation started—that the fatigue represents a significant change in your life.

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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