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Cancer

Radiation and energy level

02/08/2008

Question:

My father, 82, has colon cancer with mets (metastasis) to the liver. He has been living with the disease for 7 years. Currently, he is receiving radiation on a new tumor in his liver. The radiation hasn`t made him sick, but he is tired all the time and seems to be a little depressed. Is there anything that can be done to improve his energy level?

Answer:

Fatigue is difficult to remedy. Considering his age and the length of treatment, this alone will deplete his energy. I would suggest meeting with a dietitian to discuss nutritional options that may give him a boost. I would conserve energy by partaking in activities he enjoys and wants to do. Mild scheduled physical activity can increase energy levels. Antidepressants are an option and should be followed closely by a physician. Because of the liver tumor there may be several lab values that are not stable and contribute to fatigue. Spend time with friends, reading, listening to music or even a ride in the car, keep the mind busy to help restore energy.

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Response by:

Darlene Schodowski, RN
Radiation Oncology Nurse
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University