Chemotherapy For Breast Cancer Results In Prolonged Fatigue
Chemotherapy for patients with breast cancer results in fatigue that could five years after their therapy, according to a follow-up study.
The study comes after a 2007 study about fatigue and chemotherapy and radiotherapy which found that immediately after treatment, fatigue rates were higher in women who had received chemotherapy, compared to those receiving both therapies or just radiotherapy. The same was true 6 months after the study.
According to Paul B. Jacobsen, a corresponding author of the study, fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of women who are treated for breast cancer.
Newswise quoted him as saying, “On the basis of our 2007 study and the results of other studies, we hypothesized that fatigue in the group receiving chemotherapy would diminish over a three-year follow-up period, yet possibly remain higher than fatigue levels for women who had received radiation, combination therapy, or those with no history of cancer.”
The results at the five year follow-up contradicted the researchers’ predictions by finding that fatigue had not diminished after five years.
“Contrary to our expectations,” Jacobsen added, “fatigue did not diminish over time for patients in the chemotherapy group… In some cases, fatigue worsened, and that finding is not consistent with prior research.”
The research suggests that breast cancer patients should be informed about interventions that have been shown to be effective against fatigue after treatment, such as cognitive behavior therapy and exercise.