Fatigue is a condition of feeling tired all of the time. Fatigue is a common, usually temporary problem for persons with cancer. It can have many causes: anemia, accumulation of waste products from the cell destruction caused by chemotherapy treatments, protein calorie malnutrition, disruption of sleep patterns, chronic pain, anxiety, depression and the stress of coping with the disease.


  1. Rest more often – going to bed earlier or getting up later is usually beneficial. Maintain as closely as possible your activities according to your energy level. Gradually increase activity as tolerated.
  2. Drink 8 – 10 glasses of fluids a day, especially water, to decrease the accumulation of cellular waste products.
  3. Plan consistent periods of exercise if able.
  4. If full-time work is impossible, consider working part-time. Your doctor can send a note to your employer to explain the necessity for rest periods or absences for medical treatment during the day.
  5. Maintain an optimal nutritional status.
  6. When fatigue is the greatest, get help with childcare, meal preparation and housework.