As someone’s cancer gets worse, so do the symptoms and yet, many people still choose to ignore the early signs until they finally become unbearable.
Unfortunately, this is also the point where it may be too late as most patients diagnosed in the later stages have significantly fewer chances of recovering.
That being said, it turns out that most people diagnosed with cancer experience one particular symptom that over time, becomes debilitating – fatigue.
Feeling tired in today’s day and age is nothing if not common so there is no surprise as to why so many ignore this symptom for longer than ideal.
The American Cancer Society mentions that “Fatigue is a feeling of being tired and never being able to do things at your normal pace. This tiredness can affect one physically, mentally and emotionally. Almost everybody with advanced cancer has this symptom.”
Cancer patients that experience this symptom tend to describe it as an ongoing feeling of extreme exhaustion that seems to improve with rest.
Those cancer patients afflicted by this symptom often describe an ongoing extreme tiredness that usually gets better with rest.
As mentioned before, advanced cancer is much less likely to get treated efficiently or cured, this being the case because the tumor will have already invaded lymph nodes, spreading to nearby tissue and even to some distant body parts.
In hopes of shrinking the tumor, treatment may still get administered in some cases while in others, medical experts will opt out of it if they determine the risks it poses are greater than the benefits.
It’s important to note that people in the later stages of cancer are more likely to experience fatigue when compared to those in the earlier stages.
As for the reason this happens, the main cause is disruptions to one’s hormone levels.
With the increase in cancer cells in the body, fatigue can then lead to less eating and less physical activity.
Cancer Research UK also shares that “Some cancers create substances called cytokines. Cytokines are proteins in the body that play an important part in boosting one’s immune system. These can cause fatigue.”
Another report from the BMC Primary Care medical journal referred to fatigue in terminal cancer patients as a sort of “unbearable weakness.”
Furthermore, the Cleveland Clinic describes it as “paralyzing” and oftentimes sudden.
“With this type of fatigue, no amount of sleep helps. You feel physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted most of the time.”
The American Cancer Society mentions that patients report feeling “listless, drained or washed out.”
While this feeling of tiredness sometimes goes away for a while, it always comes back.
Aside from fatigue, unbearable pain is also a big symptom that often leads to some other issues such as: poor sleep, decreased appetite, decreased focus and feeling irritable.