Extreme tiredness (fatigue) might be caused by the cancer itself, by treatments such as hormone therapy and radiotherapy, or by other conditions such as anxiety or depression. Men who have advanced prostate cancer are also more likely to have fatigue.

Fatigue might improve after your treatment has finished but some men find it lasts longer. It’s hard to say how tired you’ll feel during and after treatment. Some men don’t feel tired at all. Other men get so tired it affects their everyday life.

Let your doctor or nurse know how you feel and if you’re getting very tired. They can check what’s causing your fatigue and help you find ways to manage it.


What is fatigue?

Fatigue is a range of feelings from tiredness to exhaustion, which makes it hard to carry out your daily activities. You may feel weak, lethargic or drained. It can affect your energy levels, motivation, ability to concentrate, emotions and sex drive.

Fatigue isn’t always relieved by rest alone and many men find it difficult to cope with.

What can help?

Let your doctor or nurse know if you're feeling very tired.  They can look into what's causing it and look for ways to help.

There are things you can do to help manage fatigue:

  • Plan your day. Do important things first and make time for rest.
  • Stay active. Gentle physical activity such as walking or swimming can help reduce tiredness. Speak to your doctor before you make any changes to how you exercise.
  • Eat well and drink plenty of fluids. If you are struggling to eat enough and you’re losing weight, this could add to your tiredness. Your GP can refer you to a dietitian for advice about your diet.
  • Sort out your sleep. Lots of things can help with sleep problems, including relaxation techniques and dealing with any worries that may be keeping you awake. Your GP can give you advice on what could help you sleep and may sometimes prescribe sleeping pills.
  • Get support. Feeling low or anxious can make you feel tired.
  • Try complementary therapies. Acupuncture, massage, yoga or meditation may help with tiredness.

Some of these changes may be difficult to make, so take things gradually. For example, it can be difficult to be more active if you are having problems moving around or feel unwell.

Our fatigue support service can help you find ways to manage fatigue. Speak to our Specialist Nurses to find out more.



Updated: September 2015 | Due for Review: September 2017

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