Jan 2, 2013 · Leave a Reply

Options For Cancer Patients Battling Fatigue Not Well Disseminated

By AJ Montpetit @ajmontpetit

 

There are a wide variety of treatments for cancer-related fatigue, yet few physicians are recommending them to their patients, according to a recent Mayo Clinic study appearing in the journal Supportive Care in Cancer.

Many patients who have been through cancer and its treatment have had trouble with recovery due to severe, debilitating fatigue that can last for months or even years. Yet, a recent study, led by Andrea Cheville, M.D., a physiatrist with the Mayo Clinic Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, found few of the available treatment strategies are offered or prescribed by doctors.

Regular physical activity, such as walking with a pedometer, has been shown to reduce fatigue. Stress reduction and coping techniques can help patients change daily habits and in effect increase restfulness. The study found only 10 percent of patients were instructed by their oncology teams to become more active or try other non-medication related fatigue-reducing measures. More than 35 percent of patients in the study had been offered sleep-enhancing medication, even though these drugs have been shown to be the least effective approach.

The study was supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense. Other authors include Jeffrey Basford, M.D., Ph.D., of Mayo Clinic's Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Dr. Cheville offers more insight into the study in the video below.

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