Fatigue is the most important symptom for advanced cancer patients who have had chemotherapy

Zeeshan Butt*, Sarah K. Rosenbloom, Amy P. Abernethy, Jennifer L. Beaumont, Diane Paul, Debra Hampton, Paul B. Jacobsen, Karen L. Syrjala, Jamie H. Von Roenn, David Cella

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

113 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cancer fatigue has been defined and described as an important problem. However, few studies have assessed the relative importance of fatigue compared with other patient symptoms and concerns. To explore this issue, the authors surveyed 534 patients and 91 physician experts from 5 NCCN member institutions and community support agencies. Specifically, they asked patients with advanced bladder, brain, breast, colorectal, head and neck, hepatobiliary/pancreatic, kidney, lung, ovarian, or prostate cancer or lymphoma about their "most important symptoms or concerns to monitor." Across the entire sample, and individually for patients with 9 cancer types, fatigue emerged as the top-ranked symptom. Fatigue was also ranked most important among patients with 10 of 11 cancer types when asked to rank lists of common concerns. Patient fatigue ratings were most strongly associated with malaise (r = 0.50) and difficulties with activities of daily living, pain, and quality of life. Expert ratings of how much fatigue is attributable to disease versus treatment mostly suggested that both play an important role, with disease-related factors predominant in hepatobiliary and lung cancer, and treatment-related factors playing a stronger role in head and neck cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)448-455
Number of pages8
JournalJNCCN Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network
Volume6
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2008

Keywords

  • Advanced cancer
  • Assessment
  • Fatigue
  • Symptom management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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    Butt, Z., Rosenbloom, S. K., Abernethy, A. P., Beaumont, J. L., Paul, D., Hampton, D., Jacobsen, P. B., Syrjala, K. L., Von Roenn, J. H., & Cella, D. (2008). Fatigue is the most important symptom for advanced cancer patients who have had chemotherapy. JNCCN Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, 6(5), 448-455. https://doi.org/10.6004/jnccn.2008.0036