How might fatigue affect me?

Fatigue affects people with pancreatic cancer in different ways.

What's in the 'Fatigue and pancreatic cancer' section?

Some people may find that they are able to cope with it. Others may have fatigue which has a big impact on them and they may struggle with daily activities. It’s important to remember that there are ways to manage fatigue, including things you could try yourself. It is also worth remembering that you may have good days when you feel less tired.

Fatigue can limit everyday activities, like working, shopping, cooking and cleaning. You may have no energy and feel weak, and find it difficult to do the things you used to enjoy. Even the smallest things may make you feel worn out, and you may struggle to do as much as you would like to.

You may find that you feel tired all or part of the day, and that you need naps during the day. Some people also have problems sleeping. Even after sleeping, you may still feel tired.

Fatigue can also affect your relationships with friends and family. Some people may feel guilty if they can’t play such a big part in family life. You may also find it harder to go out and see friends.

Some people have problems concentrating or remembering things, and get cross and annoyed. It can be very frustrating not being able to do things you have always done. People often find fatigue upsetting. It can be difficult to cope with, and may make you feel down. For some people with cancer, fatigue can be linked with depression.

People sometimes worry that fatigue is a sign that the cancer is getting worse, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Although people with advanced cancer that has spread may start to get more fatigue, people who have had the cancer removed through surgery also often have fatigue.

“I don’t think people understand the difference between tiredness and fatigue. Tiredness is when you want to sleep but with fatigue you can’t do anything.”

Questions about fatigue?

It is important that you speak to your doctor or nurse if you have fatigue or are struggling, especially if you are feeling low or down.

You can also speak to our specialist nurses on our free Support Line if you have any questions or concerns about fatigue.

Speak to our nurses
PCUK Specialist Nurse, Dianne Dobson, taking a Support Line call on the phone

Updated February 2020

To be reviewed February 2022