Posts Tagged ‘fatigue’

Can Music Alleviate Cancer Patients’ Symptoms?

Friday, August 26th, 2016

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A new review published by Cochrane Library found that there is significant evidence that music interventions help alleviate symptoms of anxiety, pain, and fatigue in cancer patients, while also boosting their quality of life. Researchers looked at studies that examined the impact of music therapy (a personalized music experience provided by trained music therapists), and music medicine (listening to prerecorde4d music offered by by a doctor or nurse) on psychological and physical outcomes in people with cancer.

Researchers examined a total of 52 trials in the review that constituted 3,731 cancer participants. Twenty three of the trials were considered to be music therapy, and the remaining 29 were classified as music medicine interventions. One of the most important finding was that all kinds of music interventions resulted in a moderate to strong effect in reducing anxiety of patients. For music and pain reduction, they  found a large treatment benefit, and for fatigue they found a small to moderate treatment effect. They also found small reductions in heart and respiratory rates and a lower blood pressure associated with music interventions. Researchers continued “The results of single studies suggest that music listening may reduce the nee4d for anesthetics and analgesics, as well as decreased recovery time and duration of hospitalization, but more research is needed for these outcomes.” They concluded “We hope that the findings of this review will encourage health care providers in medical settings to seriously consider the use of music therapy in the psychosocial care of people with cancer.”

Can Exercise Improve Memory of Breast Cancer Survivors”

Friday, July 15th, 2016

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A new study published in Psycho-Oncology concluded that moderate to vigorous physical activity is related to improved subjective memory in breast cancer survivors. Researchers believe the exercise alleviates stress and benefits women psychologically, that in turn aids in memory. Researchers looked at memory and exercise in breast cancer survivors in two groups of 1,477 women and 362 women. Findings showed a link between improved memory with higher levels of physical activity in both groups of breast cancer survivors. They also found that increased physical activity had fewer subjective memory problems, a higher level of confidence. lower distress and fatigue that all influenced their subjective memory.

Can Acupressure reduce Fatigue in Breast Cancer Survivors?

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016


logo1267406_mdA new study published in JAMA Oncology concluded that acupressure reduces persistent fatigue in women who have been treated for breast cancer.   Researchers studied 424 breast cancer survivors from the Michigan Tumor Registry and randomized them to relaxing acupressure (often used to treat insomnia) , stimulating acupressure (often used to increase energy), or usual care including typical sleep management techniques. Subjects were taught how to find and stimulate the acupressure points so they could perform it at home once daily for 6 weeks. At the end of the study period, both acupressure treatments resulted in significant, sustained improvement in fatigue. However, only the relaxing acupressure showed an improved sleep quality, and overall improved quality of life.

Overall researchers found that acupressure reduced fatigue by 27 percent to 34 percent over 6 weeks. About 2/3 of the women who did relaxing acupressure obtained normal fatigue levels.

because fatigue is a common long-term effects of breast cancer treatment  that lasts up to 10 years for about 1/3 of women (moderate to severe), and because it was relatively easy to teach the women to do acupressure (learned in about 15 minutes) researchers concluded “Given the brief training required to learn acupressure, this intervention could be a low-cost option for treating fatigue.” Further research is planned.

Few Strategies for Dealing With Debilitating Fatigue Offered to Cancer Patients.

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

In a new study published in Supportive Care in Cancer researchers reported that many people who have been through cancer and its treatments have severe, debilitating fatigue that can last for months or years and is not being addresse4d by many doctors.  Researchers found that few of the available treatment strategies are prescribed by doctors. Regular physical exercise such as walking has been shown to reduce fatigue. In addition, learning stress management and coping mechanisms can increase restfuless.  Only one-tenth of the subjects said their oncologist team instructed them to become more active or try other non-medication-related fatigue-reducing approaches. However, more than 35% of the subjects had been offered sleep-enhancing medications, even though drugs have been shown to be the least effective approach.Researchers said “Fatigue is a factor that not only significantly diminishes quality of life but is also associated with reduced survival. ..Our results suggest that cancer patients are not receiving appropriate treatment for a significant and widespread problem.”

One hundred sixty stage IV cancer patients, men and women, with moderate to severe fatigue measured by a greater than 5 on an 11 point scale were queried by researchers. Subjects with lung, breast, colon, or prostate cancer were asked whether their oncologist had discussed any of the cancer-fatigue treatments recommended by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines and the extent of the information they received ,  and whether the physician had provided specific counseling, instructions, and recommendations or a prescription to address fatigue.

Cancer types were associated with whether subjects received treatment for fatigue. Only 15 percent of patients with colon cancer and 17 percent with prostate cancer had their fatigue addressed whereas 48 percent of breast cancer patients had been advised of psychosocial intervent9ons.   Researchers found that the majority of subjects were not engaged in behavioral practices that could reduce fatigue and potentially enhance the quality of life. “And about a third reported napping during the day, which can actually worsen fatigue.? Researchers concluded “We could be doing a much better job addressing fatigue, with more reliable instructions for patients and offering treatments that have been shown to work.”

Does Reflexology Have Any Effect on Cancer Symptoms?

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

A new study published in Oncology Nursing Forum concluded that reflexology can help cancer patients manage their symptoms and carry out daily activities. The study was a large scale , randomized study that evaluated reflexology as a complement to standard cancer treatment. Reflexology is the believed that by stimulating specific points on the feet it will improve the functioning f corresponding organs. glands, and other parts of the body.

Subjects in the study were 385 women with advanced stage breast cancer who were undergoing chemotherapy or hormone therapy. Subjects were assigned randomly to one of three groups–1) treatment by a reflexologist; 2) foot massage; or 3) standard care without foot manipulation. Subjects were assessed about symptoms at intake, at 5 weeks and at 11 weeks. Findings showed that those in the reflexology group had significantly less shortness of breath, a common symptom in breast cancer patients. They also were better able to perform daily tasks such as climbing a flight of stairs, getting dressed or going shopping. The researcher said “We did not get the change we might have expected with the emotional symptoms like anxiety and depression. The most significant changes were documented with the physical symptoms.”  Of interest, the foot massage group reported unexpected reduced fatigue but the reflexology group did not report this. The researcher is carrying out futher research related to this finding.

Can Exercise Reduce Fatigue in Cancer Patients?

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

A new report in Cochrane Summaries concluded that aerobic exercises can help relieve fatigue associated with cancer and cancer treatment.  An earlier study found that exercise had some benefits of physical activity for fatigue in cancer based upon limited studies. A new review added 28 more studies to those evaluated in 2008 bringing to a total of 56 studies with 4,068 people with cancer. Half of the studies were with breast cancer patients. Findings showed that those with solid tumors  benefited from aerobic exercises, such as walking or cycling, both during and after cancer treatment.  However, other forms of exercise, including resistance training, did not significantly reduce fatigue.  The researchers said “The evidence suggests that exercise may help reduce cancer-related fatigue and should therefore be considered as one component of a strategy for managing fatigue that may included a rang, showing specifically that aerobic exercises, both during and after cancer treatment can be beneficial.” e if other interventions and education.”  Thy further said “This update review provides a more precise conclusion

Pain, Fatigue, Insomnia and Brain Fog Continue After Treatment for Many Cancer Patients

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011


Research presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago June 4-8 reported that following treatment cancer survivors often continue to suffer moderate to severe problems of pain, fatigue, sleep, memory, and concentration for 3 to 5 years. Two hundred forty eight cancer survivors (breast, colorectal, lung,and prostate) primarily female, with most beyyond 5 year survival were evaluated. The most common symptoms reported were: fatigue (16%), disturbed sleep (15%), pain (13%), and cognitive impairment (13%). Physicians and health care providers need to be more aware of these problems and educate survivors on natural ways to deal with them.