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.