Managing Side-Effects

What causes fatigue?

Fatigue is very common during cancer and its treatment.  About 3 out of 4 patients will feel fatigued at some stage of their cancer journey.

Fatigue may be due to the cancer itself or as a result of symptoms caused by the cancer. It can also be a side-effect of treatment. These include:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy and radiotherapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Biological therapies
  • Anaemia
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Pain

There are ways in which your doctor can treat your fatigue. Treating the causes of fatigue can help to reduce it.   Therefore, it’s important to tell your doctors and nurses about your fatigue and how it makes you feel, without playing it down. They will be able to help you and give you advice.


Irish Cancer Society Logo221+ Patient Support Group thanks the Irish Cancer Society for permission to use the text of their booklet Coping with Fatigue
and acknowledges the contribution of the original authors of the booklet.