We refer you to the following approaches to treat cancer related fatigue based on NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology:
- Exercise. Studies show that cancer patients who exercise are less tired and depressed and sleep better than patients who don’t exercise.
- Nutrition counseling- Advices of Nutrition Counselors recommended by patients doctors will help getting food with enough calories, protein, fluids and all nutrients needed by the patients to provide energy and prevent fatigue..
- Psychosocial measures- Patients should be able to handle emotional distress. Attendance to Counseling seminars, sessions, trainings will help the patient manage stress.
- Rest- It is important to conserve energy and undertake only the most important activities at the times when you have the most energy. Keep a log of the periods when you are most and least tired.
- Distraction – Patients are recommended to focus on all activities of laughter and fun. Some hospitals have implemented “Strength Through Laughter,” humor therapy for people with cancer and other chronic illnesses.
- Relaxation therapy – Practicing relaxation techniques, limiting caffeine to the morning, keeping naps short and having good sleep habits – such as going to bed and rising at the same times each day
- Renewal through nature. Nature loving activities like walking or sitting near a lake or beach, watching and listening to hymning birds or gardening works could decrease pressure and make a patient relaxed.
- Medications. Patients may request their doctors if antidepressants for depression or erythropoietin for anemia may be helpful in combating fatigue. Stimulants, such as methylphenidate hydrochloride (Ritalin), are being tested in clinical studies for use in relieving fatigue in patients with cancer, but evidence is inconclusive as to whether they work.
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