Incidence of Fatigue in Patients of Cancer of Head & Neck Region, Receiving Chemotherapy as well as Radiotherapy, and Its Effect on Quality of Life

Author(s): Simanta Kumar Behera1 , Sima Chauhan2

BACKGROUND Fatigue has been defined as a feeling of weakness subjectively, also expressed as extreme tiredness and energy loss due to illness or physical or mental exertion. Differences of quality of fatigue between healthy controls and cancer patients have been suggested. Moreover, these are due to heightened degree of expression of fatigue in cancer patients. We wanted to determine the prevalence of fatigue in patients suffering from head & neck cancer and receiving chemotherapy as well as radiotherapy and evaluate the fatigue related impact on quality of life. METHODS This is a cross sectional study done among patients of head & neck cancer, receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy, in the Department of Oncology, Surgery and Pathology, K.D. Medical College Hospital & Research Center, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. Department of Radiation Oncology, Grecian Superspeciality Hospital, Mohali. PG Department of Radiotherapy, Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Centre, S.C.B. Medical College & Hospital, Cuttack. Duration of study is 2013 December 2014 November and 2019 March - 2020 July. Forty-one patients were studied. RESULTS Out of twenty-four patients who were treated with radiotherapy, nine patients had mild fatigue; fifteen patients had moderate fatigue; and no patient had severe fatigue. Among seventeen patients who received chemotherapy, fourteen patients reported mild fatigue, two reported moderate fatigue, and one patient reported severe fatigue. CONCLUSIONS Different anticancer therapies cause Cancer Related Fatigue (CRF); those could be chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Severity of fatigue was more in radiotherapy as compared to chemotherapy group.