By Roseann Dougherty, RN, Founder, Team Inspiration
Cancer-related fatigue is one of the most common problems faced by patients with cancer. It may be related to either the disease itself or the treatment, and it can continue beyond the completion of treatment for long-term cancer survivors. Among people with cancer, 80% to 100% report experiencing fatigue. Fatigue may be an isolated problem or occur as one element in a cluster of symptoms, such as pain, depression, dyspnea, anorexia, and/or sleep disturbance.
Exercise as an intervention for cancer related fatigue is recommended for all cancer types and treatment modalities. Even light levels of physical exertion are beneficial—so why are we under-recognizing and under-utilizing physical activity as an intervention for fatigue?
The ONS Get Up, Get Moving campaign is aimed at increasing the frequency and consistency with which patients undergoing active treatment for cancer receive an individualized plan recommendation for physical activity. As a nurse, you may not be sure how to make a recommendation, or you may not feel comfortable giving such recommendations if you do not personally engage in exercise. Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine is one way to help you feel more confident in recommending the same to your patients.
It’s time to get up and get moving to discover how good physical activity and exercise can make you feel. I’ll be at the ONS 41st Annual Congress, to help you experience opportunities for physical activity for self-improvement that can drive big change in your practice. Participate in stretches between sessions, count your steps throughout the conference, and share how you’re staying active for a chance to win a prize! Plus, attend “Conversations With Oncology Nurses: Incorporating Physical Activity Into Cancer Care” to learn what fellow nurses are doing at their institutions to promote physical activity among their patients.
You don’t even have to wait for Congress to get started. Check out some helpful resources to learn how you and your patients can get active right away. Comment below to tell us how it’s going, or share your experiences with us on site in San Antonio!