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What are some symptoms of stage 4 cancer?

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Quick Answer

Patients with cancer that has advanced to stage 4 can sometimes experience fatigue, pain or lack of appetite, according to Cancer Council NSW. These symptoms depend in part on what kind of cancer a patient has and on the size and number of the tumors.

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There are many strategies that doctors use to help patients manage the symptoms of advanced cancer, explains the Cancer Council NSW. To reduce pain, doctors may prescribe analgesics such as NSAIDs and opioids. A doctor sometimes recommends chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery to shrink or remove some of the tumors that are causing pain, even though the cancer at this stage is often incurable. If a tumor is causing pain by putting pressure on a nerve, a specialist may perform a nerve block that directly administers pain-relieving medication to the affected nerve.

To increase appetite, it is recommended that patients surround themselves with snacks that don't require preparation and that they make eating a social occasion. Patients should also seek out their favorite foods and try to eat high-calorie foods. To address the fatigue that patients may experience, the Cancer Council NSW recommends that patients take short naps, avoid stress, limit alcohol intake and refrain from activities that are draining.

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