Use of two natural substances against fatigue in cancer patients admitted to hospice palliative care
Bonucci M.(c); Dell’Arte S.(a); Spinelli G.(b); Siniscalchi A.(a); (a) Department of Palliative Care Oncology - Villa Silvana Hospital – Aprilia – Roma; (b) Department of Oncology – ASL Aprilia – Rome; (c) Outpatient Service of Integrative Oncology – Villa Benedetta Hospital – Rome
The “fatigue” is a frequent and disabling problem in cancer patients. Fatigue is a mix of physical and psychological symptoms like muscle pain, mental cognitive dysfunction, neurological disorders that makes the patient completely inactive. The causes are varied, all directly or indirectly linked to the neoplastic disease or its treatment (either chemotherapy or radiotherapy). At the moment only a few substances are able to alleviate this "state." For this we used a new mix of natural substances to try to alleviate the disease.
We used a mixture of two medicinal plants (Panax quinquefolium and acetil L-Carnitine) in 56 patients for three weeks to assess the effect in medium to severe asthenia. All these plants have a rational of tonic and energizing action. For measurement of Fatigue, we have used two Scales of VAS, to better deeply understand the severity of symptomatology.
Through the use of the scales, 10 of 56 patients were found to have a low asthenia (grade 3-4 of the scale), 32 a medium asthenia (grade 5-6 of the scale) and 14 a severity asthenia (grade 7-8 of the scale). After the treatment with medicinal plants, the obtained results there been very interesting: 46 out of 56 patients (82%) had an improvement and in 18 patients (4 in low, 11 in medium and 3 in severe asthenia) (32%) these symptoms there resolved.
The Fatigue is a very important problems and at this time don’t exist a “guide line” or anything as a for treatment. The sample is small for any statistical analysis and taken as a point of reference for a study on a larger scale, especially for this symptom for which currently only few remedies are available. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of some medicinal plants on fatigue related to cancer in patients admitted to hospital palliative care. We found that a mixture of medicinal plants can alleviate cancer related fatigue.