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Cancer Care Issues - Advice From Dr. Cary Presant

New Therapy for Fatigue

Cary Presant, MD, Oncology, Hematology/Oncology, 07:48PM Mar 5, 2013

Fatigue is the most common problem we face in many of our patients. After treating anemia, vitamin deficiency, and metabolic abnormalities, I am still left with 80% of patients still fighting fatigue and trying to improve their quality of life.


A recent article suggests an important approach for patients. A. Molassiotis and coauthors (J Clin Oncol 30:4470, 2013) showed that a short course of acupuncture reduced fatigue, and at the same time improved anxiety, depression and quality of life.


In my practice, we are now using exercise, treating sleep disorders, along with acupuncture and/or yoga in patients remaining fatigued. Oral therapies also include vitamins, carnitine, and/or low dose steroids. Treating patient fatigue increases the complexity of care, which we document. We also follow these patients more often in order to track good or bad results of our interventions and modify the treatment. Treating their fatigue is almost as important to many of our patients as treating their cancer.

Poll: How important is fatigue management in your practice? 1. One of the most important issues I face.|2. Not very important since the options for treatment are so few.|3. Not important since I refer these patients to other doctors or physical therapy rather than treat myself.|4. I don't see much fatigue in my patients.|
About This Blog

Dr. Cary Presant describes research results, observations on oncology issues, and discussions on current cancer care topics that can help improve your quality oncology care and your oncology practice.

Disclosure: Cary A. Presant, MD, has disclosed the following relevant financial relationships:
Served as a director, officer, partner, employee, advisor, consultant or trustee for: Diatech Oncology; Digital Medical Network
Received research grant from: Diatech Oncology
Have a 5% or greater equity interest in: Diatech Oncology; Digital Medical Network
Received income in an amount equal to or greater than $250 from: Diatech Oncology
Served on the Board of Directors for: Medical Oncology Association of South California; Cancer Schmancer

  • Cary Presant

    Cary A. Presant, MD, FACP, a hematologist and medical oncologist, is a staff physician at Wilshire Oncology Medical Group. He has been director of cancer programs at Washington University School of Medicine, the Jewish Hospital of St. Louis, and the City of Hope National Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. He is currently Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of Southern California School of Medicine. Dr. Presant's current research includes pharmacologic improvement of chemotherapy effectiveness by magnetic resonance spectroscopy, as well as the development of a new chemotherapy sensitivity test, based on apoptosis, for all types of cancer. He is the author of over 400 scientific articles in cancer treatment, cancer detection, chemotherapy, experimental tumor biology and pharmacology, liposomes for cancer diagnosis and therapy, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, measurement of quality of life in cancer patients, and quality care in oncology. As an author, Dr. Presant has written Navigating American Medicine, soon to be published, and is the physician columnist for the national patient Website Dr. Presant is past president of the California Division of the American Cancer Society, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Medical Oncology Association of Southern California (MOASC), past Director of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and past president of the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC).

The content of this blog does not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of Medscape.
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