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Experts Help Patients Explore Their Cancer Fatigue, Offer Solutions

Experts Help Patients Explore Their Cancer Fatigue, Offer Solutions
M. D. Andeson News Release, 02/27/04

For cancer patients who are “tired of being tired,” two panels of experts will headline this year’s Fatigue Week, April 5-9, at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Fatigue is almost universal among cancer patients, but how to treat it can differ, depending on the cause, says honorary chair of Fatigue Week, Carmen Escalante, M.D., associate professor of general internal medicine. While the obvious reasons are the cancer itself and the treatments, depression, anxiety, weight loss, deconditioning and severe anemia can also take their toll.

Monday, April 5, a panel of experts — including Rosalie Valdres, an advanced practice nurse in the Fatigue Clinic; Melinda Bivins, a dietitian in the Department of Clinical Nutrition; and Naghma Ahmed, a physical therapist in Rehabilitation Medicine — will be available to answer patients’ questions, noon - 1:00 p.m., in Classrooms A&B (R4.1178), Rose Zone, fourth floor. The first 30 participants will receive a free lunch.

For those unable to attend the panel in person, Anderson Network’s Ask the Expert online message board offers another opportunity with Ellen Manzullo, M.D., and Valdres available to answer questions on the Web site throughout the week. To submit questions, log on and subscribe to the message board at

Other Fatigue Week activities will include a MiniFair on Monday, April 5, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., in both the Jesse H. Jones Rotary House International crosswalk, Rose Zone, third floor, and the Lutheran Pavilion lobby, Purple Zone, first floor. The fair will offer printed information as well as samples of energy bars, juices, Boost and Ensure drinks. Thursday, April 8, noon - 2:00 p.m., the Department of Clinical Nutrition will staff a booth in the Food Court at M. D. Anderson, offering samples of special foods, including Smoothies.

Place … of wellness, located outside and to the west of M. D. Anderson’s LeMaistre Clinic entrance, will present a variety of complementary therapies throughout the week, including brief relaxation massages, guided meditation, Pilates, centering prayer, Tai Chi, Qigong and a special expressive arts workshop.

Anderson Network’s PIKNIC lecture at Place … of wellness will feature Stuart Oertli speaking on “An Occupational Therapist’s Suggestions for Managing Fatigue,” Tuesday, April 6, noon - 1:00 p.m.

For health care professionals, Ana Malone Berger, Ph.D., R.N., A.O.C.N., associate professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing in Omaha, will speak on “Preservation of Cognitive Function in Cancer Patients: Anemia Management and Neuroprotection,” Tuesday, April 6, noon - 1:00 p.m., in Hickey Auditorium, Rose Zone, 11th floor. Lunch for the first 100 participants is provided.

Fatigue Week is an annual presentation of M. D. Anderson’s Patient Education Office. For a full schedule of activities, call (713) 792-7128.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center