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Fatigue (PDQ®): Supportive care - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Assessment

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However, a mixed red blood cell population consisting of both microcytic and macrocytic cells (anisocytosis) may indicate a combined etiology, for example, chronic blood loss (microcytic) with resultant reticulocytosis (macrocytic). In this situation, the MCV may be in the normal range, but the red blood cell size distribution width would be elevated.

The peripheral blood smear examination, though often overlooked, remains an important step in the evaluation of anemia. For example, nucleated blood cells and teardrop-shaped red blood cells suggest myelophthisic anemia. Macro-ovalocytes and hypersegmented neutrophils often indicate megaloblastic anemia. Small target cells and basophilic stippling are associated with thalassemia.

Additional studies that are sometimes required to characterize anemia in a given patient include testing of vitamin B12 or folate levels; serum iron, transferrin, and ferritin levels; erythropoietin level, the direct and indirect Coombs test, and/or examination of a bone marrow aspirate and biopsy. In cancer patients, the underlying etiology is often multifactorial.

References:

  1. Portenoy RK, Miaskowski C: Assessment and management of cancer-related fatigue. In: Berger A, Portenoy RK, Weissman DE, eds.: Principles and Practice of Supportive Oncology. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott-Raven Publishers, 1998, pp 109-18.
  2. Lee KA, Hicks G, Nino-Murcia G: Validity and reliability of a scale to assess fatigue. Psychiatry Res 36 (3): 291-8, 1991.
  3. Piper BF, Dibble SL, Dodd MJ, et al.: The revised Piper Fatigue Scale: psychometric evaluation in women with breast cancer. Oncol Nurs Forum 25 (4): 677-84, 1998.
  4. Mendoza TR, Wang XS, Cleeland CS, et al.: The rapid assessment of fatigue severity in cancer patients: use of the Brief Fatigue Inventory. Cancer 85 (5): 1186-96, 1999.
  5. Okuyama T, Akechi T, Kugaya A, et al.: Development and validation of the cancer fatigue scale: a brief, three-dimensional, self-rating scale for assessment of fatigue in cancer patients. J Pain Symptom Manage 19 (1): 5-14, 2000.
  6. Hann DM, Denniston MM, Baker F: Measurement of fatigue in cancer patients: further validation of the Fatigue Symptom Inventory. Qual Life Res 9 (7): 847-54, 2000.
  7. Cella D: The Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Anemia (FACT-An) Scale: a new tool for the assessment of outcomes in cancer anemia and fatigue. Semin Hematol 34 (3 Suppl 2): 13-9, 1997.
  8. Cella D: Manual of the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy (FACIT) Scales. Version 4. Evanston, Ill: Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, 1997.
  9. Schwartz AL: The Schwartz Cancer Fatigue Scale: testing reliability and validity. Oncol Nurs Forum 25 (4): 711-7, 1998.
  10. McNair D, Lorr M, Droppelman L, et al.: Profile of Mood States. San Diego, Calif: Educational and Industrial Testing Service, 1971.
  11. Hinds PS, Yang J, Gattuso JS, et al.: Psychometric and clinical assessment of the 10-item reduced version of the Fatigue Scale-Child instrument. J Pain Symptom Manage 39 (3): 572-8, 2010.
  12. Butt Z, Wagner LI, Beaumont JL, et al.: Use of a single-item screening tool to detect clinically significant fatigue, pain, distress, and anorexia in ambulatory cancer practice. J Pain Symptom Manage 35 (1): 20-30, 2008.
  13. Kirsh KL, Passik S, Holtsclaw E, et al.: I get tired for no reason: a single item screening for cancer-related fatigue. J Pain Symptom Manage 22 (5): 931-7, 2001.
  14. Strasser F, Müller-Käser I, Dietrich D: Evaluating cognitive, emotional, and physical fatigue domains in daily practice by single-item questions in patients with advanced cancer: a cross-sectional pragmatic study. J Pain Symptom Manage 38 (4): 505-14, 2009.
  15. Temel JS, Pirl WF, Recklitis CJ, et al.: Feasibility and validity of a one-item fatigue screen in a thoracic oncology clinic. J Thorac Oncol 1 (5): 454-9, 2006.
  16. Berger AM, Abernethy AP, Atkinson A, et al.: Cancer-related fatigue. J Natl Compr Canc Netw 8 (8): 904-31, 2010.
  17. Cella D, Peterman A, Passik S, et al.: Progress toward guidelines for the management of fatigue. Oncology (Huntingt) 12 (11A): 369-77, 1998.
  18. Groopman JE: Fatigue in cancer and HIV/AIDS. Oncology (Huntingt) 12 (3): 335-44; discussion 345-6, 351, 1998.
  19. Portenoy RK, Itri LM: Cancer-related fatigue: guidelines for evaluation and management. Oncologist 4 (1): 1-10, 1999.
  20. Sadler IJ, Jacobsen PB, Booth-Jones M, et al.: Preliminary evaluation of a clinical syndrome approach to assessing cancer-related fatigue. J Pain Symptom Manage 23 (5): 406-16, 2002.
  21. Borneman T, Piper BF, Sun VC, et al.: Implementing the Fatigue Guidelines at one NCCN member institution: process and outcomes. J Natl Compr Canc Netw 5 (10): 1092-101, 2007.
  22. Passik SD, Kirsh KL, Donaghy K, et al.: Patient-related barriers to fatigue communication: initial validation of the fatigue management barriers questionnaire. J Pain Symptom Manage 24 (5): 481-93, 2002.
  23. Armitage JO: Management of anemia in patients with cancer. Clinical Oncology Updates 1: 1-12, 1998.

WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: September 04, 2014
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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