"I Will Survive"

Breast cancer survivors worry about fatigue

(RxWiki News) Many cancer survivors report having pain and tiredness after cancer treatment and recovering, but why are these rates so high? Researchers examined the reason for these problems.

According to the American Cancer Society, at least 88 percent of breast cancer patients with stage 1 disease survive after five years. However, those who do recover often report fatigue as the most common symptom. 

"Speak with a health professional if you’re feeling down."

Lead author, Manuel Arroyo, a researcher from the University Granada in Spain, found that tiredness is most affected by episodes of depression, body image deterioration, neck and shoulder pain and limited arm movement.

The study included 59 female patients who were followed for a year after breast cancer recovery. Resampling, a statistical procedure, was done so the sample size could represent a larger sample. The researchers examined psychological and physical conditions that could possibly contribute to common cancer treatment symptoms like tiredness, pain, limited movement and depression to name a few.

Support programs for breast cancer or cancer patients in general can use these results to improve resources to help individuals reduce pain and depression, Arroyo suggests. If fatigue is left untreated, patients can suffer for years that can impact their physical, emotional, social and economical states, he adds.

You survived once from cancer and you will survive again from depression and pain.

The observational study is published in the European Journal of Cancer Care.

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Review Date: 
September 16, 2011