Fatigue can be experienced by patients with mesothelioma for one of two reasons. It can take decades between asbestos exposure and the first symptoms, but as the disease progresses, patients start to experience symptoms like weight loss, breathing difficulty, insomnia, anemia, hormonal changes and loss of appetite, which lead to chronic fatigue. In addition, not only can anxiety and depression related to coping with mesothelioma cause fatigue, but fatigue can also be the origin for anxiety and depression. Regarding treatments, it’s common for patients to experience fatigue during and after chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Fatigue after chemotherapy or radiation therapy usually gets worse with subsequent cycles and can last even a year or two after the end of the treatment.
Patients with mesothelioma who experience fatigue may feel the need to spend more time resting and sleeping, too tired to work or for daily activities. They may feel tired even after sleep, lethargic after minimal exertion, as well as sudden and overpowering fatigue. Factors that contribute to fatigue or its exacerbation include pain medication, nausea medications, treatment-related weight loss, stress, poor sleep, depression, anemia or other blood component imbalances.