Cancer Signs & Symptoms: Chronic Fatigue & Weakness

Don’t ignore these warning signs & symptoms!

Fatigue and weakness are often used to describe the same thing. But they actually are different. Both weakness and fatigue are symptoms, not diseases. Because symptoms can be caused by many other health problems, the importance of weakness and fatigue can be determined only when symptoms are evaluated. Finding and addressing these symptoms early improves your odds on successful treatment. Discover what to look for below.


Weakness is a lack of physical or muscle strength and the feeling that extra effort is required to move your arms, legs, or other muscles. General Weakness often occurs after you have done too much activity at one time. You may feel weak and tired, or your muscles may be sore. These sensations usually go away within a few days.


Fatigue is an extreme feeling of tiredness or lack of energy, often described as being exhausted. Fatigue is something that lasts even when a person seems to be getting enough sleep. Spotting symptoms early and taking action may save your life.

What To Look For:

  • Feeling exhausted after getting extensive sleep (28)
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Stay in bed for more than 24 hours. Hard to get up in the morning (28)
  • Having the need to nap constantly (30)
  • Lack of energy, the entire body feels fatigued and weak. Just want to stay in bed all day
  • Feeling tired and it is not related to any activity
  • More tired than usual during or after an activity
  • Lack interest to participate in normal activities, work, social life or things you enjoy doing
  • Arms and Legs feel heavy and hard to move (28)
  • Pain in muscles- hard to climb stairs or walk short distances
  • Breathless after doing small tasks, like having a shower or making bed
  • Finding it hard to concentrate, even just watching TV or talking to a good friend
  • Finding it hard to think clearly or make decisions easily
  • Negative feelings about yourself and other
  • Feeling anxious, sad, or depressed

Notice Something? Here’s What To Do Next:

  • Should you spot any signs, consider them a “red flag”. It does not mean you have cancer. If signs do not disappear within one week, contact your medical team for a professional evaluation.

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