Fatigue due to chemotherapy

Fatigue due to chemotherapy

Many children with cancer experience fatigue (extreme tiredness). Many children are experiencing fatigue at the time of diagnosis. Most children with cancer experience fatigue during treatment.

Key points to remember

This page is part of a whole section about childhood cancer.

  • many children with cancer experience fatigue
  • fatigue in children with cancer is usually long-lasting (chronic)
  • your child will need extra rest times to cope with their fatigue

Which children with cancer are likely to experience fatigue?

Many children with cancer experience fatigue. Many children are experiencing fatigue at the time of diagnosis. Most children with cancer experience fatigue during treatment.

Fatigue can interfere with your child's quality of life.

What causes fatigue in children with cancer?

People who look after children with cancer do not know exactly what causes fatigue in children and young people with cancer. 

Fatigue in children with cancer is usually long-lasting (chronic) and includes both physical and psychological tiredness.

Some of the things which may contribute to long-lasting fatigue are :

  • fear and anxiety about treatment
  • inadequate nutrition
  • infection
  • anaemia
  • sleep disturbance
  • altered mobility - for example, being less active than usual

What will my child need if they have fatigue?

Your child will need extra rest times to cope with their fatigue.

All the pages in the childhood cancer section of this website have been written by health professionals who work in the field of paediatric oncology. They have been reviewed by the members of the National Child Cancer Network (NZ). Medical information is authorised by the clinical leader of the National Child Cancer Network.

This page last reviewed 24 May 2018.
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