What exactly is fatigue?
Everyone describes it a bit differently. Some men say they are dog-tired, drained or weary all the time. Others say that are completely knackered and exhausted most of the day.
The key is that fatigue goes beyond occasional tiredness. It’s like your energy has been completely zapped — making it harder to sleep, work, hang out with friends and family, and get on with everyday life. This feeling of being drained can linger for a long time, sometimes even months or years. Simply just being tired, on the other hand, usually goes away after resting up a bit.
How common is it?
Almost everyone diagnosed with cancer experiences fatigue, as cancer itself is a lot on the body. Fatigue is so common, that about 3 in 4 men with prostate cancer go through it.
What causes it?
It’s tricky, because a number of things can bring on fatigue. With prostate cancer, it’s common to feel quite worn down due to:
not having enough sleep or rest
eating poorly and not getting the right amount of exercise
stress, anxiety or depression
Take time to listen to your body and better understand where your exhaustion may be coming from. Work with your doctor or care team to understand what you can expect, and how to best manage your energy supply going forward.
People on active surveillance often don’t have many physical problems — but they may still deal with stress, anxiety, and depression. These issues can make it harder to stay active and take care of yourself — and put you at risk for fatigue. Understanding how these emotional troubles are affecting you physically will help you work on getting your energy back. If you’re feeling exhausted all the time, it’s also possible there’s something else going on. Talk to your doctor or care team about fatigue and what you can do to regain energy.
What can you do to
pump up your energy?
Eating well before, during and after treatment is key. Vegetables, nuts, fish, healthy fats — all these (and more) are important sources of nutrition when you’re going through prostate cancer.
Keeping active with light to moderate exercise could also help improve your energy levels. It's important to get your body moving. To help you get going, talk to your team about having a nutrition and workout plan created that will work just for you. There are also several steps you can take to stay safe during exercise.