What Are the End Stage Symptoms of Cancer?

NADOFOTOS/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

End-stage symptoms of cancer are fatigue, pain, appetite loss and respiratory problems, explains the American Cancer Society. Not only do patients struggle to breathe, but their breathing changes, becoming moist and congested.

Fatigue is a common symptom among the end stages of all kinds of cancer, points out the American Cancer Society. Certain medications, anemia and trouble sleeping worsen the fatigue. Periods of vomiting and nausea as well as constant pain wear out patients. In some cases, doctors can treat fatigue with blood transfusion if anemia is the culprit. Experts also suggest that patients exercise, even if it is only a little, to lend energy.

Individuals in the end stages of cancer also have to deal with both acute and chronic pain, states the American Cancer Society. Chronic pain is more or less ongoing, while acute pain lasts for short periods of time and is more severe. Pain medications can treat pain, but there are side effects. For instance, opioids can cause drowsiness. Some patients manage pain through distractions, relaxation, massage and meditation.

Another symptom of end-stage cancer is a change of appetite, says the American Cancer Society. Patients generally lose the desire to eat. This contributes to the chronic fatigue that they experience.