Saturday, February 24, 2024

Why Am I Not Losing Weight After Chemo

If You Have Lost Weight

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You may have lost weight due to cancer, or the side effects of treatment. You may not feel hungry, or feel full soon after starting eating. Some people may feel sick, or find that foods taste different.

Some types of cancer make your body use up more energy, even if you are not very active. You may lose weight even if you are eating well. If you lose too much, it is important to talk to a dietitian.

The building-up diet is high in energy and protein. It can help you add extra energy and protein to your food without having to eat more. It is for people who have lost or are losing weight, or who can only eat small amounts.

Your doctor or dietitian may also recommend food supplements. These include nutritional drink, soups, powders, or puddings that can help you get extra nutrients and calories.

How To Gain Weight After Chemotherapy

Weight loss is a common side effect of chemotherapy, and gaining weight can be more challenging than you may think. After chemotherapy treatments, people sometimes experience dry mouth, mouth sores, trouble swallowing and have changes in tastes and smells, according to the American Cancer Society. These side effects can make it difficult to eat. Talk with your doctor about ways to manage these side effects so that eating and regaining your strength is easier.

Eat your favorite foods. Eating your favorite foods, such as comfort foods, can help stimulate your appetite, says the National Cancer Institute. If the foods do not taste good, try adding spice, salt and pepper. Eat your favorite foods until you feel that you can try other foods.

Talk with your doctor about taking an anti-nausea medication. There are different types of anti-nausea medications that can help relieve the nausea and will help you be able to eat without feeling sick. When you aren’t feeling sick, you will be more likely to eat enough to gain weight.

Eat five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables a day, according to the American Cancer Society. Dark green, leafy vegetables, citrus fruits and yellow vegetables contain folate, iron, calcium and vitamins A, C and K that are essential to improving your immune system and keeping you healthy.

Weight Loss During Radiotherapy And One Month After Treatment

During radiotherapy, 46 patients lost weight, with a mean weight loss of kg, which corresponded to a % net reduction from their baseline weights. One month after treatment, 45 patients lost weight, with a mean weight loss of kg, which corresponded to a % net reduction from their baseline weights. For this group of 74 patients, the average net weight loss was 2.35 kg during radiotherapy and 2.17 kg at 1 month after treatment. The trend of weight loss during radiotherapy is shown in Figure 1.

Weight loss of the 74 patients during radiotherapy.

The weight of each patient was measured weekly during radiotherapy and 1 month after treatment. The mean weight of the 74 patients decreases during radiotherapy. W1-8, from the first to the eighth week of radiotherapy M1: one month after treatment.

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Regression Analysis Of Clinical Parameters Affecting Weight Loss During And After Radiotherapy

The patient’s age, gender, ECOG PS score, tumor location, tumor stage, and the use of chemotherapy were included in the regression analysis. The multivariate analysis showed that the head and neck tumor location and the use of chemotherapy were independent risk factors of weight loss during radiotherapy, whereas an ECOG PS score of 2-3 and the use of chemotherapy were independent risk factors of weight loss at 1 month after treatment. The statistical data from both univariate and multivariate analyses are presented in Table 3.

How Important Is Exercise

What inspired you to finally lose the weight?

It’s really good for your overall health — but talk to your doctor before you begin any exercise program.

Physical activity can often help reduce the side effects of nausea and fatigue. It can also lift your energy levels. One study found that exercise after chemotherapy might boost infection-fighting T cells, too.

Even a moderate amount of exercise may help you live longer.

Strength training can help rebuild body mass and increase your strength. You need to take care when working with weights on the upper body, though. That’s because lymphedema — arm swelling — is a common concern after breast cancer treatment.

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When To Contact Your Cancer Care Team

Weight loss can be a sign of a more serious problem. Notify your cancer care team if you:

  • Lose more than 3 pounds in a week . Quick weight loss can be a sign of dehydration, which can be serious.
  • Lose more than 5% of your body weight in a year without trying.
  • Feel weak, very tired or dizzy.
  • Are not able to do usual activities.
  • Are not able to eat or drink as much as usual.

How Can I Lose Weight After Treatment

Losing weight is not always easy and can take time. But theres a good reason to maintain a healthy weight, besides the way you look. Theres evidence that being overweight could increase the risk of breast cancer coming back, says Lucy Eldridge, dietetic team leader at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.

If you want to lose weight its important to set a realistic goal. Aim to lose about 0.51kg a week through healthy eating and doing regular physical activity.

Avoid fad diets that promise rapid weight loss. Often theyre not based on scientific evidence, says Lucy, and youre more likely to keep the weight off if you lose it slowly and steadily.

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Weight Loss Can Depend On Cancer Type

Weight loss can depend on the type of cancer you have.

About 60 out of 100 people with lung cancer have a loss of appetite and significant weight loss at the time of their diagnosis. In people with upper gastrointestinal cancer, this number is 80 out of 100 people . Upper gastrointestinal cancers include:

  • food pipe cancer

What Are The Risk Factors For Ovarian Cancer

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The risk factors for ovarian cancer include being a woman, getting older, and not having children. Ovarian cancer risk factors also include being overweight and having a family history of ovarian cancer. If you have a family history of ovarian cancer, talk with your doctor about what you can do to reduce your risk.

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If Youre Overweight Aim For Controlled Weight Loss

With two-thirds of the American population classified as overweight or obese, many newly diagnosed cancer patients who fall into those categories consider the prospect of treatment-related weight loss to be a silver lining. But its not your ticket to become the Biggest Loser, Ms. Stella and Ms. Gerdes say.

We want to make sure theyre not losing in an uncontrolled manner, Ms. Gerdes says, noting that rapid weight loss usually involves the loss of lean muscle mass, which is needed to maintain strength. Losing five to six pounds a week would be concerning.

What Are The Risk Factors For Ovarian Cancer In Women

Cancer can spread through the blood or lymph system to other parts of the body. Cancer cells can break away from the original tumor and enter the bloodstream or the lymph system. The cancer cells then travel through the bloodstream or lymph vessels to other parts of the body where they begin to grow in other organs.

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Foods For Cancer Survivors

It turns out that the expression, “You are what you eat really is true! As a cancer survivor, now is the ideal time to evaluate your diet and exercise habits so you can stay on a healthy path. What foods are stocked in your pantry and refrigerator? Are there more processed foods than there should be? Is the refrigerator lacking because you dine out frequently? If so, it may be time to re-evaluate your habits and asking your cancer care team for help is a great place to start. Consider asking them to recommend a nutritionist to help you get on track. Adjusting your diet habits can take time. Start with small steps, continually working towards eating a balanced diet that is not filled with convenience or over-processed foods.

What Are The Symptoms Of Ovarian Cancer

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Cancer is a leading cause of death in the United States, claiming the lives of more than 500,000 people each year. Ovarian cancer is one of the most lethal cancers that affect women. Cancer usually doesnt cause symptoms until it has spread. Early detection of ovarian cancer can save your life.

Ovarian cancer symptoms include Abdominal pain Bloating Difficult urination Fatigue Feeling full frequently Nausea Pain during the passage of bowel movements Pain in the pelvic region Pain or pressure in the lower back pain or pressure in the abdominal area Pelvic pain Persistent indigestion Persistent pelvic pain Persistent vaginal bleeding Vomiting or nausea If you experience severe abdominal pain or other symptoms, tell your doctor immediately.

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Keep As Active As Possible

Fatigue is such a prevalent side effect of many cancer treatments that patients may find it difficult to get off the couch on some days, much less head outside for a walk. But staying physically active is important for weight management regardless of whether weight loss or gain is desired because regular movement helps maintain lean muscle mass.

We really want patients to hold on to their muscle mass because research has told us there are poorer prognoses for patients who lose their lean body mass at a very rapid rate, Ms. Stella says.

If youre looking for a class, take a look at the fitness and yoga classes on offer at MSKs Bendheim Integrative Medicine Center. Anyone can join.

Physical Activity For Cancer Survivors

Cancer survivors can also greatly benefit from exercise. If exercise isnt something you usually carve out time for, now is the perfect time to start. Fortunately, you can do this slowly by adding a little activity at a time. While you can certainly go to the gym, you dont have to. Taking a walk in the park, lifting light weights at home, or going on a bike ride are enough. The goal is to be consistent, making time for this several days of the week. To make exercise less of a chore and more enjoyable, focus on finding an activity you actually like.

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If You Want To Try To Stop Gaining Weight

  • Ask if you need to limit fluid if your ankles are swollen. If you have swelling in your abdomen , limiting fluids may not help and you should call your cancer care team.
  • Choose healthier, lower calorie foods.
  • Cut back on sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Limit your salt intake.
  • Limit food portions especially with high-calorie foods.
  • Read food labels to become more aware of portion sizes and calories. Be aware that low-fat or non-fat doesnt always mean low-calorie.
  • Try to walk daily if you can and if its OK with your doctor. Talk with your cancer care team about referral to a physical therapist to help you safely increase activity levels.
  • Ask about meeting with a dietitian.

Hormonal Therapy & Weight Gain

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Hormonal therapy is used to treat several types of cancer, including breast, uterine, testicular, and prostate. The medicines used help lower the amount of estrogen or progesterone in the human body. While this form of treatment is effective, some major side effects include an increase in weight due to an increase in fat deposits and a decrease in muscle and metabolism.

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What You Eat Matters

Food is the majority of the battle when it comes to weight management. Try these quick tips for eating healthier meals:

  • Balance your plate, leaving ½ vegetables and fruit, one quarter for lean protein, and the last quarter for healthy grains.
  • Consider baking or steaming your food instead of frying.
  • Limit your intake of fat, sugar, and refined flour. For instance, replace sodas with water to reduce sugar intake.
  • Maintain a food schedule, complete with meal and snack times to keep you feeling fuller longer.
  • Keeping a food diary helps you stay accountable and allows you to keep a closer eye on how certain foods make you feel, be it full, nauseated, energized, etc.

Dont Restrict Yourself To Certain Foods

Chemotherapy and radiation treatments can cause a host of side effects that make it difficult or unpleasant to eat, including nausea, taste changes, and mouth sores, among other things. But many patients, as soon as they receive a cancer diagnosis, decide to restrict their diets in hopes of offsetting years of bad eating habits, Ms. Stella explains.

All of a sudden theyre going vegetarian, saying theyll never eat sugar again, or everything has to be organic, she says. But they dont know how chemo or radiation will affect them, and then they start struggling. Its not a good idea to restrict your diet when treatment already cuts down on what youll want or be able to eat.

Research suggests that eating a variety of foods is better for your health, Ms. Gerdes adds. Unless your doctor advises you to avoid specific foods for medical reasons, you should not restrict certain foods or nutrients, since they may not change the course of your cancer.

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Youre Not Sleeping Well

Good sleep is one of the most important factors for your physical and mental health as well as your weight.

Studies show that poor sleep is one of the single biggest risk factors for obesity. Adults and children with poor sleep have a 55% and 89% greater risk, respectively, for developing obesity .


Lack of quality sleep is a strong risk factor for obesity. It could also hinder weight loss progress.

What Are The Causes Of Ovarian Cancer In Women

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Ovarian cancer symptoms are not easy to detect in the beginning, especially since they are common symptoms of other conditions. The key is to know the symptoms, which include abdominal or pelvic discomfort, bloating, constipation, loss of appetite, abdominal swelling, indigestion, pain during intercourse and a feeling of fullness even after eating a small amount.

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When To Connect With Your Care Team

Some weight gain may be a side effect of cancer treatment or chemotherapy. But there are times when youll want to inform your doctor about weight gain, including if youre:

  • Putting on 5 pounds or more a week
  • Experiencing new onset shortness of breath
  • Feeling dizzy or confused
  • Having new signs of fluid retention, such as new arm or leg swelling, jewelry that fits tighter than it used to, or less flexibility
  • Finding the weight gain concerning for any other reason

Expert cancer care

Gaining Weight After Cancer Treatment

Weight loss is a common side effect of cancer. Certain cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation can cause side effects like nausea, a loss of appetite, or dry mouth all of which make it hard to swallow food. The taste and smell of food may have also changed, resulting in foods appearing less desirable. Side effects like this can make gaining weight back after treatment a challenge for many people.

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Questions To Ask Your Health Care Team

  • Can this cancer or its treatment cause weight gain?

  • Can my cancer treatment cause edema?

  • What are ways I can track my weight during cancer treatment?

  • Who should I tell if I notice changes in my weight?

  • Is there an oncology dietitian and/or other specialists that I can talk with about making food choices and my exercise routine?

  • Are there certain exercises I should avoid due to my diagnosis or its treatment?

  • Who can I talk with if I need help coping with stress or other emotional effects of cancer?

Weight Gain During Chemotherapy

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Its not uncommon to experience weight changes when you have cancer or when you receive chemotherapy. Minor weight gain is not a cause for concern. However, significant weight gain is something to monitor because it puts you at higher risk for health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.

Weight gain is more common during chemotherapy treatment for certain kinds of cancer, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer. This may result from the combination of chemotherapy along with hormone therapy and other medications typically used to treat these cancer types.

Weight gain during cancer treatment is associated with a lower chance of recovery.

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Medical Nutrition Is Important To Keep The Body Strong

If after dietary counselling by a qualified healthcare professional a patient is still struggling to eat and drink and/or maintain weight, they may be advised to start taking medical nutrition supplements, also known as oral nutritional supplements . Medical nutrition are specially designed foods and drinks that help people with disease-related malnutrition meet their nutritional needs, providing the extra energy, protein, vitamins and minerals they need. They are known as foods for special medical purposes and should be used under medical supervision.

Medical nutrition, particularly if given to patients early in their cancer journey, has been clinically proven to reduce weight loss. This is important to continue cancer therapy and is therefore related to better treatment outcomes14. Medical nutrition is available in a range of flavours and formats including milkshakes, juice style, yoghurt style, powders and desserts.

An introduction to cancer and weight loss

Cancer is a term used to group together a set of diseases that can affect almost any part of our body it will affect around 1 in 2 people during their lifetimes. A cancer diagnosis can be a life-changing event. Both the disease and its treatment can be extremely demanding on the body, taking away strength when the body needs to be at its strongest.

The role of medical nutrition in cancer care

  • Ryan et al. Proc Nutr Soc. 2016 75:199-211.
  • Andreyev HJ et al. Eur J Cancer. 1998 34p.503-9.
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