Cancer related fatigue differs from common tiredness as it has no precise cause and effect. Whilst everyone can get tired after activity or a full day, this type of fatigue is not related to activity nor gets better after rest or sleep. It is an unusual full body tiredness which is not relieved by sleep and occurs throughout the day. It is a constant, prolonged and extreme lack of energy where normal day-to-day activities are challenging and even the arms and legs can feel heavy and hard to move. A cancer may cause fatigue as the cancer cells use up the body’s energy supply and change the way the body makes energy from food. It is a common early symptom in some cancers like leukemia or stomach or colon cancers where blood loss occurs but is not obvious and will cause fatigue.
2. Unexplained Weight Loss
Weight loss for no known reason, not through stress or change in diet or exercise is called unexplained weight loss. It is a common sign in the early stages of some types of cancer. 60% of people with lung cancer and 80% of people with stomach, pancreatic or esophageal cancer have lost a significant amount of weight by the time they are diagnosed. Although it is often characterized by loss of appetite, some people in the early stages of cancer may still be eating normally and yet still lose weight. If you are not dieting and you lose more than 5% of your normal weight in 1 month, or 10% in 6 months, you should ask your doctor to investigate as this can be the first sign of cancer.