• Is your fatigue from Epigenetic changes to your DNA due to Chemo?

    Asked by jhale17 on Thursday, September 7, 2017

    Is your fatigue from Epigenetic changes to your DNA due to Chemo?

    Have you heard any explanations for lasting fatigue in cancer patients treated with chemotherapy? Here are a descriptions of causes I have read about. Have you heard of any other reasons?

    Chemo can cause epigenetic changes to the DNA. This often results in cancer- patient fatigue. An analogy of what happens is to think of the gene as the hardware in a computer that awaits instructions on how to express itself (how to function.) There are proteins on the outside of the gene that act much like computer software to instruct the genes do what they are supposed to do. The chemo damages the outside of the gene (like when software crashes) and the gene malfunctions. One result is patient fatigue. Patient side effects from this may be be during treatment and/or may last long-term.

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • jhale17's Avatar

      Another way of describing chemo damage to genes is what chemo can do to the telomeres of DNA. Telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes. Telomeres are like the plastic tips at the end of shoelaces. Shoelaces without tips become frayed until they can no longer do their job. Chemo damaged DNA telomeres can no longer do their job and fatigue, among other things, can become an issue.

      over 2 years ago
    • Throatless' Avatar

      The only explanation I have gotten is, "you've been through a lot, you have to give it time".

      over 2 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar

      No giving up just because you are given a seemingly plausible story.

      The hubris!

      Maybe it might be true to a point of changing existing cells but we humans make a complete new body of cells every seven years and just because the dna of a current cell is wonky doesnt mean that will be true of new cells.

      Besides rna trumps dna. I took some bunny rabbit rna drugs to get rid of a health challenge from a botched chemotherapy. It did make me rather tenuous for a while but I believe that was because I turned out to be allergic to the drug base which the drug manufacturers neglected to reveal.

      I am slowly getting my chutzpah back. So will you.

      over 2 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar

      Bunch of crap....Chemo destroys cancer cells pretty well but also destroys all our life giving other cells that are not causing any problems thus exhaustion.

      over 2 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar

      Cancer and all treatment hit us pretty hard. As well as opening the door for all those diseases we were previously fighting. I have all my life fought periods of chronic pain and fatigue these bouts lasted for a few weeks to a month and occurred every nine months, Guess what after cancer the chronic pain and fatigue are here to stay. Dr.s have tried to separated these symptoms out but they have given up. People I have talked to believe that their fatigue was caused more by radiation than chemo. But they both treatments kill healthy cells as well as cancer cells and radiation does alter DNA

      over 2 years ago
    • kdavis11259's Avatar

      I don't know if this will help or not, but I used to be so tired and had no energy before and after treatment for follicular lymphoma. I went to the health food store and they recommended a vitamin supplement called Blood Builder by Mega Food. It is a supplement containing Vitamin C, Folate, B-12, and iron. The thing that, I believe, makes it superior to other supplements is that it all comes directly from food sources. For example, the vitamin C is derived from organic oranges, the folate from broccoli, etc. It is more easily absorbed and is easy on the system so that you can even take it on an empty stomach. It has helped me regain my energy to where I actually feel like my old self again. I swear by it.

      over 2 years ago
    • cards7up's Avatar

      I have long lasting fatigue from my treatments and just live with it. I consider it part of my new normal like dealing with scar tissue. I don't nap every day but close to it. Thankfully I don't have to work and my schedule is pretty much my own. I still end up with a long day even with a nap! I'm an early riser and later to bed.

      over 2 years ago

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