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Cancer fatigue less common than thought

Cancer fatigue less common than thought
27th April 2012

The prevalence of cancer-related fatigue is overestimated, with only around six per cent of women experiencing it.

These are the surprising findings of a study by the Cancer Survivors' Centre and hospitals across Sydney, Australia, published in by the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Long-lasting and disabling fatigue is often thought to be a common side-effect of cancer treatment, with many reporting to feel the side-effects long after the treatment ends.

While some put the figure for this fatigue as high as 50 per cent, the study found it could be as low as six per cent.

"This is not to say that cancer-related fatigue is not a problem. It is still one of the main symptoms of cancer and a major side effect of treatment, but people can be reassured that for the vast majority receiving adjuvant treatment, it is not an ongoing or long term debilitating experience," said study author, Professor David Goldstein.

The study followed 218 women over a period of five years during and after the treatment of early-stage breast cancer.