6. Cancer-related Fatigue

  1. David I. Mostofsky
  1. Benjamin J. Hassan and
  2. Maíra P. O. Campos

Published Online: 28 MAR 2014

DOI: 10.1002/9781118453940.ch6

The Handbook of Behavioral Medicine

The Handbook of Behavioral Medicine

How to Cite

Hassan, B. J. and Campos, M. P. O. (2014) Cancer-related Fatigue, in The Handbook of Behavioral Medicine (ed D. I. Mostofsky), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118453940.ch6

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 28 MAR 2014
  2. Published Print: 11 APR 2014

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118453995

Online ISBN: 9781118453940



  • cancer-related fatigue (CRF);
  • mechanisms of fatigue;
  • quality of life (QoL)


Fatigue is likely the most common, distressing, and overlooked symptom related to cancer and its treatment. Patients with cancer-related fatigue (CRF) avoid physical activity even as their attempts to rest are not rewarded by recovery. Estimates of the prevalence of CRF fall across a wide range and depend on the population studied, the type of cancer, and the diagnostic criteria used. Fatigue is a complex biological process involving alterations in multiple body systems. This chapter discusses the mechanisms of fatigue. The evaluation and management of CRF is approached using a biopsychosocial model in which the multiple dimensions of CRF are taken into account. The chapter lists the treatable contributing factors in CRF. CRF consists of physical and mental exhaustion that is highly prevalent in cancer patients, significantly affects quality of life (QoL) and functioning, and encompasses the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social domains.