It is common to feel very tired and lack energy during and after cancer treatment. Your tiredness may continue for a while after treatment has finished. Some women find it takes them a few years to feel well again.
Tips for managing fatigue
- Plan your day. Set small manageable goals and rest before you get too tired.
- Keep your schedule as regular as possible, e.g. avoid sleeping in, go to bed at your usual time, and take a short nap if you get tired throughout the day.
- Ask for and accept offers of help from family and friends, e.g. with shopping, errands and childcare.
- Aim to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
- Regular light to moderate exercise has been shown to reduce fatigue. Even a walk around the block can help. Talk to your doctor about the amount and type of exercise suitable for you. A physiotherapist or exercise physiologist can develop a program that is right for you.
- Don’t expect to be able to instantly do everything you used to do. Gradually build up the amount of activity you do each day.
|If you’re having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor. Cognitive behaviour therapy has been shown to be effective in addressing sleep problems. Or you can listen to our podcast on Sleep and Cancer to learn why cancer affects sleep and how to get the sleep you need.|
Prof Jonathan Carter, Director, Gynaecological Oncology, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, and Professor of Gynaecological Oncology, The University of Sydney, NSW; Ellen Barlow, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Gynaecological Cancer Centre, The Royal Hospital for Women, NSW; Dr Dani Bullen, Clinical Psychologist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Wendy Cram, Consumer; Dr Tiffany Daly, Senior Radiation Oncologist, Radiation Oncology Princess Alexandra Raymond Terrace (ROPART), South Brisbane, QLD; Kim Hobbs, Clinical Specialist Social Worker, Westmead Centre for Gynaecological Cancer, Westmead Hospital, NSW; Anya Traill, Head of Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
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