Skip to Content

Survivorship 3: Cancer-related Fatigue, Sleep Disorders, and Cognitive Function in Cancer Survivors

Course Overview

Chronic fatigue, constant sleepiness, and cognitive dysfunction: all can be late effects of cancer treatment. Dr. Ellen Manzullo, Professor of General Internal Medicine and Associate Medical Director of Ambulatory Treatment and Emergency Care at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, says that "sleep disorders may be under-recognized in cancer-related fatigue patients." In her lecture, "Cancer-related Fatigue and Sleep Disorders, Part 1," Dr. Manzullo explains what cancer-related fatigue is, its causes, and its symptoms. She also analyzes the results of a 2-year study of 135 patients at MD Anderson's Cancer-related Fatigue Clinic examining the relationship between cancer-related fatigue and sleep disorders. In the second part of this lecture, "Cancer-related Fatigue and Sleep Disorders, Part 2," Dr. Dave Balachandran, Associate Professor of Pulmonary Medicine at MD Anderson, examines individual cases from this study. The cases offer insight into how a patient's medical history, treatments, medication, diet, weight, sleep quality, and even circadian rhythms may play a role in cancer-related fatigue. Dr. Balachandran also explains how the Multiple Sleep Latency Test helps assess a patient's sleepiness and can lead to better treatments. In addition to fatigue and sleep disorders, many cancer survivors report loss of cognitive function, commonly known as "chemobrain" following treatment. Dr. Christina Meyers, a former Professor of Neuro-Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, says that sometimes this type of cognitive dysfunction can last as long as a year or more after treatment. In her lecture, "Cognitive Function of Cancer Survivors," Dr. Meyers says "therapeutic interventions can improve function and quality of life." She outlines not only symptoms of cognitive impairment and its effect on daily life, but also behavioral strategies that research shows can help survivors manage this debilitating condition.

     Course Overview: Español | Português

Lectures

Ellen F. Manzullo, M.D.
Cancer-related Fatigue and Sleep Disorders, Part 1   Top of Page
 
Presenter: Ellen F. Manzullo, M.D.
Professor, Department of General Internal Medicine
Associate Medical Director of Ambulatory Treatment and Emergency Care
 

Summary: Thanks to advances in cancer treatment, there are now more than 10 million cancer survivors in the U.S. Many survivors, up to 30%, report experiencing a loss of energy following their treatment. Dr. Ellen Manzullo, Professor of General Internal Medicine and Associate Medical Director of Ambulatory Treatment and Emergency Care at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, explores why in her lecture, "Cancer-related Fatigue and Sleep Disorders, Part 1." Dr. Manzullo explains how cancer-related fatigue plays a role in recovery from cancer. She describes what cancer-related fatigue is, its causes, and its symptoms. She also analyzes the findings of a 2-year study of 135 patients at MD Anderson's Cancer-related Fatigue Clinic examining the relationship between cancer-related fatigue and sleep disorders. Dr. Manzullo describes the testing methods used and how the results of the study are helping to assess and treat cancer survivors today.

     Summary and Learning Objectives: Español | Português

Dave Balachandran, M.D.
Cancer-related Fatigue and Sleep Disorders, Part 2   Top of Page
 
Presenter: Dave Balachandran, M.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Pulmonary Medicine
 

Summary: Cancer survivors describe cancer-related fatigue as "paralyzing." When combined with a sleep disorder, cancer-related fatigue can zap energy and motivation to do simple daily tasks. Dr. Dave Balachandran, Associate Professor of Pulmonary Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses several case studies in the second part of this lecture, "Cancer-related Fatigue and Sleep Disorders, Part 2." All of the case studies presented in this lecture are currently being investigated at MD Anderson. Dr. Balachandran discusses how each case may help better explain the relationship between cancer-related fatigue and sleep disorders. The cases offer insight into how a patient's medical history, treatments, medication, diet, weight, sleep quality, and even circadian rhythms may play a role in cancer-related fatigue. Dr. Balachandran also takes a look at the researchers' preliminary findings from these studies and how these findings are helping practitioners better treat patients.

     Summary and Learning Objectives: Español | Português

Christina A. Meyers, Ph.D.
Cognitive Function of Cancer Survivors   Top of Page
 
Presenter: Christina A. Meyers, Ph.D.
Former Professor
Department of Neuro-Oncology
 

Summary: It's normal to forget a name, become distracted, or misplace an object, such as keys, once in a while. But some cancer survivors may find themselves facing these types of mental challenges on a daily basis. Many cancer survivors experience a loss of cognitive function, known as "chemobrain," following chemotherapy treatment. Dr. Christina Meyers, a former professor of Neuro-Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, says that sometimes this type of cognitive loss can last as long as a year or more. In her lecture, "Cognitive Function of Cancer Survivors," Dr. Meyers takes a look at the possible causes of "chemobrain," the symptoms commonly associated with it, and the effects it can have on daily life. Dr. Meyers discusses current research and why some mental exercises that may sound helpful really are not.

     Summary and Learning Objectives: Español | Português

 

 

For further information or assistance, to provide feedback on this web site, or to request a specific professional oncology education topic, please e-mail Professional Oncology Education.

Course Options


© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center