Cancer-related anaemia and fatigue: assessment and treatment.
ABSTRACT Anaemia is common in patients with cancer, but is often under-diagnosed and under-treated. Fatigue is frequently associated with cancer-related anaemia and has a significant impact on patients' quality of life. Many patients regard the treatment of fatigue as more important than the treatment of pain, in contrast with the opinions of many physicians. Accurate assessment of anaemia and fatigue is essential to understand the reality of living with cancer-related anaemia and provide optimal treatment. Oncology nurses are ideally placed to play a key role in the identification and management of cancer-related anaemia by anticipating and assessing the problem during all stages of treatment. Further education on anaemia and fatigue is required. Accurate and detailed training programmes, developed from specific needs analyses, will further enhance the role of oncology nurses.