Fatigue During Radiation

Last Modified: November 30, 2009


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

My husband got radiation treatment 10 years ago. He sailed through it and worked full time. I am getting radiation for breast cancer now and am so tired I can hardly get out of bed some days. Am I feeling tired from the radiation and why did my husband not have these problems? He thinks I’m being dramatic!


Tammi Fisher, RN, OCN Staff Nurse in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

Everyone's cancer treatment experience is different - so don’t compare your experience to anyone else's and don’t let them either. Fatigue is common in a lot of patients undergoing radiation therapy. Believe it or not, exercise is one of the best ways to alleviate fatigue. 15-30 minutes of daily exercise can help- I’m talking a walk through the neighborhood or mall though, not running 5 miles!  Check out OncoLink’s Exercise and Fatigue tip sheets for more information.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series, Understanding Breast Cancer Supportive Care Issues View the entire transcript.