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What to ask your doctor about cancer fatigue

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If you are very tired from your cancer or treatment, it is very important that you tell your doctor or nurse.

Tell them what symptoms you have. You may think they don't have time to worry about how tired you are, but they do care and will want to help you. They may be able to explain why you are so tired. Your doctor may order some tests to find out the causes of your fatigue so that they can treat your fatigue in the best way.

If you find it difficult to discuss these things, try taking along a family member or friend that you trust. Let them do some of the talking. It is helpful to have someone else to help you remember what the doctor says, especially if you are feeling tired and having trouble concentrating.

Some people find it easier to write down how they feel. Try keeping a diary of how you are feeling for a week or two and then give this to your doctor or nurse to read. Write down when you feel tired, how often you sleep, what makes you feel tired, your eating pattern, and whether you feel sad, depressed or anxious.

Questions you might like to ask your doctor include

  • What is causing my fatigue?
  • Why do I feel so tired all the time?
  • Why am I having trouble sleeping?
  • Can any of my treatments cause fatigue?
  • Is there anything that can help me control fatigue?
  • Can I exercise, how much should I do?
  • What is anaemia?
  • Will I need a blood transfusion?
  • Is there anything that I should not be doing?
  • Is there anything I can eat to give me more energy?
  • Is my tiredness normal?
  • How long will this fatigue last?
  • Where can I get some help and support?
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Updated: 6 March 2014