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.
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
body or hormonal changes from treatment
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 before, during and after treatment, and how to best manage your energy supply going forward.
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.
Fatigue and hormone therapy
There are many types of hormone therapy. Depending on which kind you have, and how long you’re on it, the fatigue can vary.
If you’re on hormone therapy for a few months, you might find the fatigue gets better soon after treatment.
If you’re on hormone therapy for a while, and the fatigue is hard to deal with, talk to your doctor. It’s possible you can take a break from therapy, if the cancer isn’t growing. This break will give you a chance to lessen the fatigue effects and get some relief.
What can you do to pump up your energy?
Eating well before, during and after treatment is key. Keeping active with an exercise program could also help improve your energy levels. To help you get going, talk to your team about having a nutrition and workout plan created that will work just for you.