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Cancer: Home Treatment for Fatigue - Things you can do

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There also is some evidence that complementary therapies can help with sleep and reduce fatigue. These include:2

If your doctor says you may exercise, you can begin to build your strength, energy, and fitness. Even moderate walking has been shown to improve body image, increase physical strength, and reduce anxiety and depression.1 For adults who have breast cancer or prostate cancer, aerobic exercise, such as walking or cycling, has been shown to ease fatigue during and after treatment.3

Emotional wellness

Fatigue from cancer treatment is often the hardest part of treatment for most people. It may affect your sense of well-being. Many people who have fatigue with cancer treatments report feeling anxious or depressed. Be sure to talk with your doctor if you are having a problem with these kinds of feelings. Your doctor may be able to help. There also are some things you can do at home to feel better.

  • Take time for yourself to do the things that you enjoy, such as listening to music, spending time with friends, or having a massage. Spend time in ways that restore you, such sitting by a garden or a park.
  • Deal with emotional problems instead of ignoring or denying them. This may mean talking to your doctor, a friend, or a counselor.
  • Talk with other people who have had cancer. Your local American Cancer Society chapter can help you find a support group.

Watch for symptoms during home treatment

If one or more of the following symptoms occur during home treatment, contact your doctor:

  • New symptoms develop along with the weakness and fatigue.
  • Depression or anxiety becomes a problem.
  • Symptoms of weakness or fatigue increase despite home treatment.
  • Symptoms do not improve after 2 weeks of home treatment.
  • Symptoms become more severe or more frequent.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 30, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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