Fatigue in Cancer: A Multidimensional Approach

John Han-Chih Chang, MD
Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

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Fatigue in Cancer Authors: Maryl L. Winningham, Margaret Barton-Burke
Publisher: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Inc., Massachusetts, 2000
ISBN: 0-7637-0630-2


OncoLink Rating: 1 Star

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Maryl L. Winningham has a bachelor's and master's degree in nursing along with a doctorate degree in exercise science. She experienced years of fatigue after a serious illness, which inspired her to search for answers regarding fatigue. Barton-Burke is a nurse and a Ph.D. candidate, who is interested in helping those who suffer from chronic Fatigue. These two editors put together this compilation of essays and interviews from numerous contributors. The contributors are all health care providers who write about their experiences with cancer patients suffering from what the book refers to as cancer-related fatigue syndrome, or CRFS.

The book opens by painting a picture detailing the history of fatigue and our attempt to understand it. It goes on to cover clinical and treatment issues, from the perspectives of an oncologist, a pharmacist, and a psychiatrist. The book then discusses potential rehabilitation therapies. Finally, the book explains personal issues, such as quality of life for both the patient and their families.

While this book thus covers a wealth of informative issues surrounding CRFS, it does not provide a review of fatigue research; the reader will not be provided with recent data. Also, the fact that the book is written by numerous contributors means that there are sometimes conflicting ideas or beliefs. However, it is helpful to read so many opinions to form one's own conclusions. Each chapter does provide background information on that particular contributor and supplies a list of references as well. This facilitates the reader to do further research on a particular subject if one chooses.

This book is informative and interesting to read. The goal of the book is to bring together health care providers from multiple disciplines, and to learn with their ideas and insights about CRFS. This will hopefully create a better understanding of CRFS, while encouraging further much needed research.