The Link Between Colon Cancer and Weakness and Fatigue

The Link Between Colon Cancer and Weakness and Fatigue

Colon cancer is one of the top three most diagnosed cancers in the United States, and one of the most treatable cancers when caught in time, which is why regular screening is vital. 

At Texas Surgical Care in Kingwood, Texas, Dr. Ronald Ambe provides colon cancer screenings and works with oncologists to support treatment for colon cancer when necessary. He also performs robotic surgery to remove colon cancer, using the da Vinci surgical system. 

If you have colon cancer, you should be aware that you may experience significant weakness and fatigue. Dr. Ambe is here to support you through this common side effect as well.

Colon cancer-related fatigue

Many colon cancer sufferers experience extreme fatigue, both before receiving treatment and after. While it’s not completely clear why the link between colon cancer and fatigue exists, there is no denying that there’s a clear correlation between the two.

Cancer-related fatigue isn’t predictable. It’s not clearly linked to any specific type of tumor, stage of cancer, or treatment. Usually cancer fatigue comes on regardless of exercise or activity level, and doesn’t subside even when you rest or sleep. Some patients say they feel practically paralyzed, and they still experience this crippling fatigue once their treatment is fully completed and they’re cancer-free.

Causes of “cancer fatigue”

Cancer fatigue affects 80%-100% of cancer patients. It can show up at the same time as other symptoms such as weight loss and decreased appetite, which often are written off as being caused by something else, but which are all causes of weakness and fatigue. 

Anemia caused by internal bleeding can also cause fatigue, as can the fact that tumors steal nutrients the body needs. Stress, pain, and anxiety caused by the cancer often contribute to fatigue and depression as well.

During treatment for colon cancer, a new host of reasons for fatigue appear. Radiation and chemotherapy are both extremely hard on the human body, and can cause complete fatigue and the need for extra sleep for a majority of each 24-hour period. 

Treatment for fatigue caused by colon cancer

The best way to fight back against cancer fatigue and weakness is to seek treatment for underlying causes, including your colon cancer, depression or anxiety, and poor nutrition caused by loss of appetite. 

Dr. Ambe can help you work on your cancer treatment plan to set realistic expectations and refer you to the correct specialists to help you safeguard your mental and physical health. 

To learn more about cancer fatigue as well as your colon cancer screening options, get in touch with the team at Texas Surgical Care by calling 832-280-8691, or request an appointment online

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