Fatigue and Mesothelioma: What You Need to Know

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that affects the lining of the body's organs, most commonly the lungs. It is caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral that was widely used in construction, shipbuilding and other industries until its dangers were discovered. Mesothelioma is a serious and aggressive disease, and often, the symptoms do not appear until decades after exposure to asbestos. Fatigue is a common symptom associated with mesothelioma, and it can greatly impact the quality of life for patients.

What is Fatigue?

Fatigue is a feeling of exhaustion that does not go away even after rest or sleep. It is a common symptom for cancer patients, and it can be caused by the disease itself, as well as the treatment options. Mesothelioma patients often experience fatigue due to the cancer's impact on their body, and the side effects of treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy. However, fatigue can also be caused by other factors such as depression, anxiety, pain, or sleep disturbances.

Impact of Fatigue on Mesothelioma Patients

Fatigue is not just a feeling of tiredness, but it can greatly affect a mesothelioma patient's quality of life. Fatigue can make it difficult for patients to perform everyday tasks such as eating, bathing, and getting dressed. Patients may also find it hard to participate in social activities with family and friends, or keep up with work. Fatigue can also lead to other health problems such as muscle weakness, decreased coordination, and a weakened immune system.

Managing Fatigue in Mesothelioma Patients

There are several ways to manage fatigue in mesothelioma patients, and it often involves a combination of approaches. Some strategies that can be helpful include:

  • Rest and sleep: Patients should aim to get adequate rest and sleep, and it may be helpful to take short naps throughout the day.
  • Exercise: Light exercise such as walking or stretching can help improve energy levels and reduce fatigue.
  • Diet: Eating a healthy and balanced diet can help give the body the nutrients it needs to fight off fatigue and other symptoms.
  • Medications: There are medications that can help manage fatigue, such as stimulants or antidepressants.
  • Pacing activities: Patients should learn to pace their activities and not overexert themselves.
  • Counseling: Speaking with a counselor or therapist can help patients manage the emotional impact of fatigue and provide coping strategies.


Fatigue is a common symptom associated with mesothelioma, and it can greatly impact a patient's quality of life. However, there are strategies to manage fatigue, and it often involves a combination of approaches. Patients should work closely with their healthcare team to identify the best strategies for their unique situation.