Sleep Disorders in People with Cancer: Sleep disorders are more common in people with cancer for several reasons:
- Tumors can cause sleep problems,
- Cancer drugs can cause sleep problems,
- Staying in the hospital can make it hard to sleep,
- Stress from cancer diagnosis can make it hard to sleep.
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Cancer FatigueCancer fatigue is the most common side effect of cancer treatment. Moreover, fatigue can be a symptom of cancer. The fatigue experienced with cancer is different than fatigue experienced by healthy people. People describe it as feeling worn out, heavy, slow, weak, extremely tired, and in pain. In some people, fatigue can last up to a year or more after treatment stops. Doctors do not know exactly how cancer treatments cause fatigue, but they do know what causes it in people who have cancer, or who are undergoing cancer treatment, for example: Chemotherapy Biologic therapy Surgery Radiation Therapy Other cancer drugs Drugs that cause drowsiness Anemia Side effects from diet Loss of appetite Not getting enough nutrients and calories daily Insomnia Hormone fluctuations Respiratory problems Pain Dehydration due to severe vomiting or diarrhea Changes in metabolism Weight loss Loss of muscle strength Lack of physical activity Other health problems Anxiety and depression Stress Fatigue from surgery generally gets better with time, however, it can worsen if surgery is combined with other cancer treatments.Doctors have studied patients with breast and prostate cancer who suffer from fatigue and found that the amount of fatigue experienced, and the time it was felt, varied from patient to patient.Women with breast cancer reported that fatigue was increased by: Having other health problems or advanced cancer Being a younger age Being underweight Problems sleeping Anxiety Depression Having children at home Working while receiving radiation treatment Men with prostate cancer reported that fatigue increased before radiation therapy started due to depression and/or poor sleep. Talk with your doctor or other health care professional about how to treat and manage your cancer-related fatigue. REFERENCES: Bower, JE, Ph.D. Cancer-related fatigue: Mechanisms, risk factors, and treatments. Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2014 Oct; 11(10): 597–609. Published online 2014 Aug 12. doi: 10.1038/nrclinonc.2014.127. Bower, JE, Ph.D. Behavioral symptoms in breast cancer patients and survivors: Fatigue, insomnia, depression, and cognitive disturbance. J Clin Oncol. 2008 Feb 10; 26(5): 768–777. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2007.14.3248 NIH. National Cancer Institute. "Fatigue (PDQ®)-Patient Version. Updated: June 30, 2017. NIH. National Cancer Institute. "Facing Forward: Life After Cancer Treatment." Updated: May 2014. IH. National Cancer Institute. "Fatigue." Updated: Apr 29, 2015. NIH. National Cancer Institute. "Managing Radiation Therapy Side Effects." April 2010.
Cancer: What You Need to KnowCancer is a common and deadly disease, and it's surrounded by myths. There are certain basics a patient needs to know when they're confronted with a cancer diagnosis; everything from clinical facts and practices to learning how to navigate the health insurance bureaucracy.
Cancer SymptomsMost symptoms and signs of cancer may also be explained by harmless conditions, so it's important to limit one's risk factors and undergo appropriate cancer screening. Common cancer symptoms and signs are a change in bowel habits or urination, persistent cough, blood in the stool, urine, or saliva, lump in the breast or testicle, hoarseness, swollen glands, a change in a wart or mole, unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge, difficulty swallowing, unexplained weight loss, and headaches.
Common Cancer Symptoms Most symptoms and signs of cancer may also be explained by harmless conditions, so it's important to limit one's risk factors and undergo appropriate cancer screening. Common cancer symptoms and signs are a change in bowel habits or urination, persistent cough, blood in the stool, urine, or saliva, lump in the breast or testicle, hoarseness, swollen glands, a change in a wart or mole, unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge, difficulty swallowing, unexplained weight loss, and headaches.