Up to one third of women treated for breast cancer report fatigue symptoms up to 10 years after diagnosis, according to a new study. Published in the February 15, 2006 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study--the first 10 year follow-up study of fatigue in breast cancer to be published--reveals women who have concomitant medical conditions, specifically cardiovascular problems and depressive symptoms, or who were treated with combined radiation and chemotherapy, have a higher risk of suffering from fatigue.
Though it is a subjective complaint associated with many illnesses, fatigue can be a debilitating symptom that significantly and adversely affects quality of life and many of the activities of daily living. Fatigue is often experienced by cancer patients for reasons that are not clearly understood, although it is thought to be linked to the disease, treatment side effects, psychosocial experiences, or other ongoing medical problems, such as heart problems and chronic pain.
Studies have shown that in the first five years after diagnosis, about one in three breast cancer patients complain of fatigue. However, there have been no studies of breast cancer survivors that have documented the prevalence of fatigue more than five years after treatment.
Amy Molnar | EurekAlert!
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