Cancer-related fatigue in elderly patients

Annalisa Giacalone, Daniela Quitadamo, Umberto Tirelli, Simon Spazzapan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Fatigue is one of the most common and debilitating symptoms experienced by cancer patients and cancer survivors (incidence 20-90%). Cancer-related fatigue involves all the phases of cancer, even after the discontinuation of treatments. It may worsen the quality of life, force the patient to give up treatment and increase Health Care costs. Research has shown that cancer-related fatigue has a multi-factorial aetiology that necessitates appropriate pharmacological and/or non-pharmacological treatments based on the correct evaluation of the symptoms and the pre-existing causes e.g. anaemia, endocrine, metabolic and mood disorders. Even if fatigue rates of between 70 and 99% occur in patients older than 70 years, this has not translated into an increase in clinical trials for the assessment and therapy of cancer-related fatigue in this population group. The early recognition and formal assessment of this symptom in a population group with a high risk for frailty is important in order to be able to treat it before it impacts negatively on the patient's quality of life. This chapter aims to give a brief overview of cancer-related fatigue in elderly cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCancer in the Elderly
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages32
ISBN (Print)9781614706380
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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