A diagnosis of cancer is a major life stressor that can affect the physiological, psychological and physical state of the person concerned. Fatigue is a particularly common and troubling symptom that has a negative impact on quality of life throughout all phases of treatment and stages of the illness. The aim of this review is to provide background information on cancer-related fatigue. This review discusses cancer-related fatigue (CRF) in terms of the definition, prevalence, risk factors, aetiology, and the measurement scales used. The differences between definitions of symptoms and relevant theories will be explored and discussed to help explain the variety of instruments used in its measurement. The prevalence of fatigue will be assessed by looking critically at the evidence of fatigue and the factors that affect it. Potential treatment and management strategies for CRF will also be discussed. Finally, there will be an overview of the instruments used to measure fatigue. This review also provides important evidence for measuring and managing CRF that can help nurses to understand fatigue among patients with cancer. Assessing CRF should be routinely undertaken in clinical settings to help identify the proper interventions, treatments and management to reduce fatigue among cancer patients.