Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Prolonged fatigue for those who had chemotherapy for breast cancer, follow-up study finds

Date:
December 6, 2011
Source:
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
Summary:
In a follow-up study, researchers have found that patients who receive chemotherapy for breast cancer might experience prolonged fatigue years after their therapy. The new study is a follow-up to a study on fatigue and chemotherapy and radiotherapy for breast cancer.

In a follow-up study, researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center and colleagues have found that patients who receive chemotherapy for breast cancer might experience prolonged fatigue years after their therapy. The new study, published in the American Cancer Society's current issue of Cancer, is a follow-up to a study on fatigue and chemotherapy and radiotherapy for breast cancer Moffitt researchers published in Cancer in 2007.

"Fatigue is among the most common symptoms reported by women who are treated for breast cancer," said study corresponding author Paul B. Jacobsen, Ph.D., program leader for Health Outcomes and Behavior at Moffitt.

The 2007 study found that immediately following treatment fatigue was greater in women who had received chemotherapy than in patient groups composed of women who had received both chemotherapy and radiotherapy, radiotherapy alone, or in groups with no cancer history. Six months after treatment, women in the chemotherapy alone group reported more fatigue than the combination therapy group, the radiotherapy group, or the non-cancer group.

"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," explained Jacobsen.

The recently published follow-up study was composed of 205 patients who had received chemotherapy compared with 193 women in a control group with no history of cancer. The controls were within five years of age of the cancer patients and lived in the same zip codes as their partner cancer patients. The average age for both groups was 55. Fatigue levels were measured at six months and 42 months.

Their new findings, however, contradicted the expectation that patients receiving chemotherapy would, overtime, experience less fatigue and eventually see their fatigue levels diminish to equal the levels of women in the other two groups.

"Contrary to our expectations, fatigue did not diminish over time for patients in the chemotherapy group," said Jacobsen, who studies the behavioral and psychosocial aspects of cancer, cancer treatment, outcomes, and cancer survivorship. "In some cases, fatigue worsened, and that finding is not consistent with prior research."

Among the possible factors influencing the long-term or worsening fatigue included the potential for weight gain, common among patients who receive chemotherapy and who, according to the researchers, rarely return to their pre-treatment weight.

One variable affecting prolonged or worsening fatigue might involve supportive care, suggested the researchers.

"This finding has important implications for patient education and for fatigue monitoring during follow-up," concluded Jacobsen. "Our results should inform patient education efforts when patients receiving chemotherapy are often told that their fatigue will gradually diminish following treatment. Health care providers may want to communicate to their patients who have received chemotherapy that their fatigue may not improve over time and may worsen."

The researchers concluded that patients should be informed about interventions known to be effective against fatigue post-treatment, such as exercise and cognitive behavior therapy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Martine M. Goedendorp, Michael A. Andrykowski, Kristine A. Donovan, Heather S. Jim, Kristin M. Phillips, Brent J. Small, Christine Laronga, Paul B. Jacobsen. Prolonged impact of chemotherapy on fatigue in breast cancer survivors. Cancer, 2011; DOI: 10.1002/cncr.26226

Cite This Page:

H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute. "Prolonged fatigue for those who had chemotherapy for breast cancer, follow-up study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111205140607.htm>.
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute. (2011, December 6). Prolonged fatigue for those who had chemotherapy for breast cancer, follow-up study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111205140607.htm
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute. "Prolonged fatigue for those who had chemotherapy for breast cancer, follow-up study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111205140607.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins