Tim Brunson DCH

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Nonpharmacologic approach to fatigue in patients with cancer.



Cancer-related fatigue is a common yet underappreciated problem with a significant impact on functional ability and quality of life. Practice guidelines mandate that all cancer patients and survivors be screened for cancer-related fatigue (CRF) at regular intervals. Comorbidities that could contribute to fatigue should be treated, and patients with moderate to severe fatigue should undergo a comprehensive evaluation. Nonpharmacologic interventions are important tools to combat CRF and should be incorporated into routine practice. Physical activity, educational interventions, and cognitive-behavioral therapy have the most supportive data and can be recommended to patients with confidence. From a practical standpoint, general education on CRF is something that most care providers can readily offer patients as part of routine care. Other interventions that appear promising but are as yet lacking convincing evidence include mindfulness-based stress reduction, yoga, and acupuncture. Reiki, Qigong, hypnosis, and music therapy may be worthy of further investigation.

Cancer J. 2014 Sep-Oct;20(5):313-8. doi: 10.1097/PPO.0000000000000064.

Pachman DR(1), Price KA, Carey EC. Author information: (1)From the *Division of Medical Oncology, and †Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

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