Introduction to cancer and fatigue
the meaning of cancer in the English dictionary can be defined as a serious
disease that is caused when cells in the body grow in a way that is
uncontrolled and not normal, killing normal cells and often causing death.
National cancer institute, Cancer is the name given to a collection of related
diseases. In all types of cancer, some of the body’s cells begin to divide
without stopping and spread into surrounding tissues. Cancer can start almost
anywhere in the human body, which is made up of trillions of cells. Normally,
human cells grow and divide to form new cells as the body needs them. When
cells grow old or become damaged, they die, and new cells take their place.
can be described as the lack of energy and motivation (both physical and
mental). This is different than drowsiness, a term that describes the need to
sleep. Often a person complains of feeling tired and it is up to the health
care professional to distinguish between fatigue and drowsiness, though both
can occur at the same time.
Types and stages of cancer
to the cancer institute NSW, there are staging in cancer where process of
measuring how far a cancer has spread when it is first diagnosed. It often
involves having scans and other tests. Generally there are four stages in
cancer which are stage 0, 1, 2&3 and also 4. Stage 0 cancer is often
referred to as ‘in-situ’ cancer means that the cancer cells are still in the
place where they started and have not spread at all. Stage 1 is small and has
only spread a little into nearby tissues. It has not been spread to any lymph
nodes or other body areas. Stage 2&3 means it is larger or has spread into
nearby tissues or lymph nodes. Finally, stage 4 has spread to other areas of
the body. Stage 4 cancer is also called metastatic cancer or advanced cancer.
Metastasis is the spread of cancer cells to new areas of the body which is
often by way of the lymph system or bloodstream. A metastatic cancer, or
metastatic tumour, is one which has spread from the primary site of origin
(where it started) into different area(s) of the body.
are more than 100 types of cancer, characterized by abnormal cell growth. There
are many different ranging and causes from radiation to chemicals to viruses;
an individual has varying degrees of control over exposure to cancer-causing
Fatigue is a subjectively experienced
symptom. Fatigue is most frequently reported side- effect of cancer. Self-
report measures are commonly used to measure and describe fatigue. There are an
increasing number of assessment instruments and this primarily can be divided
into two sections which are single dimension and multidimensional scales. The
reliable Linear Analog scale Assessment (LASA) is frequently used in the
clinical trials. ( McCormack HM, de L Home DJ, Sheather S,1998). Uni-
dimensional measures the severity and degree of fatigue. An example to this is
the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy- Fatigue Scale.
Example of multidimensional
measurement includes The piper fatigue scale, The Functional Assessment of
cancer therapy fatigue scale (FACT-F), The Schwartz cancer fatigue scale, The multidimensional
fatigue inventory( MFI-20), The brief fatigue inventory, The cancer linear
piper fatigue scale covers four dimensions which are cognitive, behavioural,
sensory and affective and it also includes three open questions with respect to
cause, other symptoms, and relief measures. The scale contains 22 items and on
a scale of 0-10. The length of the piper fatigue scale may be a weight for
patients if utilized as a part of clinical practice. In any case, it is presumably
the most complete and multidimensional strategy accessible for use as an
functional assessment of cancer therapy fatigue scale (FACT-F)
consists of 28 items to assess health-related quality of life and 13 extra
items to assess fatigue. The length of the whole questionnaire could trouble
exhausted patients, however the weariness subscale is brief, basic, and simple
to utilize. The questionnaire is intended for patients in treatment, which
could be a confinement.
Schwartz cancer fatigue scale has 28 items which are separated into four
subscales which are emotional, physical, cognitive and temporal.
The multidimensional fatigue inventory
(MFI-20) covers 5 zones which are the general fatigue, physical fatigue, reduced
activity, reduced motivation and mental exhaustion and comprises of 20 things.
This evaluation has been used and shown good results in patients that go
through radiotherapy and yet to be tested in other cancer patients.
The brief fatigue inventory includes nine
items that is measured on a ten-point scale. This measures the severity of
fatigue and its effects on the patient’s activity on a daily basis.
cancer linear analogue scale (CLAS) incorporates one or a progression of side
effects or results identified with manifestations, for example, personal
satisfaction and capacity to embrace every day exercises. CLAS/LASA measures
are reliable and have been used broadly in cancer patients. Preferences
incorporate low burden to patients, the capacity to gauge a few side effects
simultaneously, and simplicity of clinical utilize. Inconveniences incorporate
unidimensionality and some detailed challenges when elderly patients endeavour
to utilize the scale