Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Overcoming Cancer-Related Fatigue

WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

When you have cancer, you're tired. Fatigue may be a symptom of the cancer or a side effect of treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation. The stress of living with cancer can also leave you exhausted. "Fortunately, there's a lot that cancer patients can do to overcome fatigue," says Carmelita P. Escalante, MD, professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The first step is taking fatigue seriously. Coping with fatigue can improve your quality of life and help you recover from cancer treatment faster. Plus, fatigue can be a symptom of other illnesses, including diabetes, thyroid problems, heart disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. So talk to your doctor so she can evaluate your fatigue.

Recommended Related to Cancer


Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a plant grown in many parts of the world which produces a resin containing compounds called cannabinoids. Some cannabinoids are psychoactive (acting on the brain and changing mood or consciousness) (see Question 1). The use of Cannabis for medicinal purposes dates back to ancient times (see Question 3). By federal law, the use, sale, and possession of Cannabis is illegal in the United States. However, a growing number of states and the District of Columbia...

Read the Overview article > >

Give Sleep a Chance

Pain, stress, and side effects of cancer treatments can make it hard to get a restful sleep. A sleepless night can leave you tired all day. Good sleep habits can help you fall asleep and stay asleep more easily.

  • Go to bed at about the same time every night.
  • Avoid stimulating activities (like watching TV or doing work) right before bed.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine in the evenings.
  • Get out of bed if you can't sleep after 15 or 20 minutes. That way you won't associate the bed with sleeplessness. Do something relaxing, such as listening to calming music or reading. When you feel tired, go back to bed again.

Get Moving

It may sound counterintuitive, but physical activity is one of the most effective ways to fight fatigue, says Escalante. "Just walking for 20 minutes a day can help you feel better and more energetic." If walking is difficult for you, try using a stationary bike or sign up for a water aerobics class. Before you start any physical activity program, talk to your doctor to make sure you don't have any health restrictions.

Fill Up on High-Energy Foods

Your appetite probably isn't what it was before you had cancer. Even when you don't feel like eating, you still need to get all the nutrients your body requires. If you fall short on nutrition, you'll be more fatigued. As a compromise between nutrition and your appetite, eat small meals frequently during the day. Choose nutritious foods like nuts, eggs, beans, lentils, fruits, and vegetables. Also, make it a goal to eat at least two servings of fish a week -- evidence shows omega-3 fats may ease fatigue by reducing inflammation.

Today on WebMD

Colorectal cancer cells
New! I AM Not Cancer Facebook Group
Lung cancer xray
See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
sauteed cherry tomatoes
Fight cancer one plate at a time.
Ovarian cancer illustration
Real Cancer Perspectives
Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
what is your cancer risk
colorectal cancer treatment advances
breast cancer overview slideshow
prostate cancer overview
lung cancer overview slideshow
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
Actor Michael Douglas