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Cancer-Related Fatigue: A Quiet & Lingering Thief of Function

presented by Suzänne Taylor PhD

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Suzanne Taylor receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Suzanne Taylor has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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Research shows that nearly all cancer survivors experience a type of fatigue that does not easily resolve, is chronic in nature, and negatively impacts their physical and cognitive tolerance for activities. This fatigue is referred to as cancer-related fatigue (CRF). Left untreated, CRF may lead to depression, permanent decrease in physical and/or cognitive abilities, and an overall lower quality of life. In this course Dr. Suzanne Taylor provides detailed information on CRF including the understood causes, the known impacts, assessment, and recommended treatment interventions.

Meet Your Instructor

Suzänne Taylor PhD, MBA, OTR/L

Suzänne Taylor, PhD, MBA, OTR/L, has extensive experience in oncology rehabilitation including providing direct therapy interventions and presenting on state, regional, and national levels. Dr. Taylor has dedicated her career to furthering oncology rehabilitation education, research, and program development. Her clinical practice included working in areas of surgical oncology, otolaryngology, hematology and medical oncology, bone…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. What is Cancer-Related Fatigue?

Helping cancer survivors and their loved ones understand that CRF is not the same as regular fatigue is the first step towards effective assessment and treatment. Join Dr. Taylor in this chapter as she provides a foundational understanding of CRF including prevalence, how long it may last, and the suspected underlying causes.

2. The Impact of Cancer-Related Fatigue

Fatigue, the most common symptom experienced, typically impacts cancer survivors on multiple levels, leading to a decreased quality of life. In this chapter Dr. Taylor begins explaining these impacts and resulting sequela of CRF in the areas of physical and cognitive functioning, work performance, mood, sense of self, and in relationships.

3. Screening, Assessing, and Evaluating Cancer-Related Fatigue

Considering that nearly all cancer survivors experience fatigue at some point between pre-diagnosis and through end of life, therapists should screen every client that has, or has had, cancer. In this chapter Dr. Taylor explains screening, assessing the impact of CRF, and evaluating physical, cognitive, and emotional fatigue along with contributing factors.

4. Treating Cancer-Related Fatigue

In this chapter Dr. Taylor explains the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Clinical Guidelines® for Cancer-Related Fatigue. In this chapter Dr. Taylor summarizes the evidence-based Category 1 interventions shown to help mitigate the impact of cancer-related fatigue.

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When treating cancer survivors, it is necessary to have a foundational understanding of oncology. Beginning with a history of cancer and an overview of etiologies, Dr. Suzänne Taylor provides definitions of basic oncology terminology and explains how cancers are classified and staged. This information is necessary for clinicians to understand where their clients are on the trajectory of the cancer diagnosis and what treatment(s) they may have received or may yet receive. Resources are included for clinicians to remain current with their knowledge of oncology.

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Clinicians who work with cancer survivors must have an understanding of how cancer and the associated treatments cause a changing trajectory of physical and cognitive abilities. In this course, Dr. Suzänne Taylor provides an overview of cancer treatments and the commonly associated side effects. Along with the impact of cancer on an individual's psychosocial well-being, Dr. Taylor provides examples of how functional abilities may rapidly change. This course strengthens the clinician's ability to anticipate changes in function and appropriately adjust therapy goals and interventions.

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Oncologic emergencies are defined as an acute and potentially life-threatening event caused by cancer or the associated treatments. While some of these may take months to develop, others may manifest in just hours. With the improved ability to provide outpatient cancer treatments, oncologic emergencies are no longer isolated to the hospital setting. This means regardless of the practice setting, the therapist may be the one to identify the developing oncologic emergency. In this course, Dr. Suzänne Taylor discusses signs and symptoms of oncologic emergencies. She details how therapists can identify early signs and symptoms and how to facilitate risk reduction in certain oncologic emergencies.

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Advances in oncology care have led to greater numbers of cancer survivors living much longer after diagnosis. Unfortunately cancer and cancer treatments can negatively impact literally every aspect of the person including physiological, physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being. Additionally, long-term and sometimes persistent lingering effects decrease performance abilities and overall quality of life. Rehabilitation professionals play a key role in mitigating the effects of cancer and cancer treatments and improving outcomes. In this course, Dr. Suzänne Taylor explains how oncology clinical practice guidelines and standards support the involvement of rehabilitation from diagnosis through survivorship, advanced disease and end-of-life. She provides recommendations for the focus of therapy interventions based upon cancer treatments, anticipated physiological responses and disease state.

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Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
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