Cancer patients deal with a number of symptoms as a result of their condition, one of which is fatigue. This type of issue can be debilitating and frustrating, which causes many people to seek out treatments. While medication is one of the first options most people consider, a study by The JAMA Network suggest other methods may be more effective. During a study involving over 11,500 cancer patients, the effects of drugs and exercise/psychotherapy were observed. In some cases, patients were given both. The results showed a 9 percent reduction in fatigue for those who used medication and a 26-30 percent reduction for those who exercised or received psychotherapy. While the exact reasons that these methods seem to be more effective than drugs is not completely clear, experts do suggest that sufferers of cancer fatigue try these methods before opting for pharmaceutical solutions. While some types of exhaustion can be treated simply by getting more sleep, cancer fatigue is different. The study seemed to indicate that factors like the type of cancer had little effect on the results. The same can be said of the age and gender of the patients. While it has long been known that exercise and psychotherapy were effective in treating cancer fatigue, this study (which examined data from over 100 previous studies) indicates these methods may indeed be superior than medicinal options.
Source: JAMA Oncology, online March 2, 2017.