Cancer fatigue is a long-lasting and vexing problem for many survivors. Any breakthroughs will be welcome.
Although exercise remains the most effective treatment, a placebo-controlled study
presented at last week’s American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting demonstrated a benefit to patients taking American ginseng. Debra L. Barton, RN, PhD, (Associate Professor of Oncology at the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center) presented the data. Some of the findings reported in the pre-meeting abstract include:
- Had better scores on the Brief Fatigue Index
- Were more likely to report their fatigue levels were “very much better” (25% v. 10%).
- Were more likely to report that they were satisfied with the medication (33% v. 13%).
This was a pilot study, and Dr. Barton was quoted in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
as saying, “we’re not recommending this.” She added that more studies will be needed to reach sound conclusions.
Fatigue is a real problem for my cancer survivors
and we talk about it frequently. Although ginseng is not for everyone
, I am certain that I will be getting lots of questions over the coming weeks and months.