Why weight loss with cancer?

Cancer cells demand more energy than healthy cells, so the body can burn more calories at rest than normal. Cells also release substances that affect how the body uses calories from food, which can also contribute to weight loss. weight loss is common among people with cancer. May be the first visible sign of the disease.

In fact, 40% of people say they have lost weight inexplicably when they were first diagnosed with cancer. Cancer-related weight loss may be different from other types of weight loss. Doctors refer to a weight loss syndrome called “cachexia”, which is characterized by increased metabolism, loss of skeletal muscle, fatigue, loss of appetite and decreased quality of life. Cachexia is very common in patients with incurable cancer.

If cancer-related weight loss is significant and accompanied by muscle loss, you may have a condition called cachexia or wasting syndrome. Cachexia is not the type of weight loss that can be easily thwarted by increasing calorie intake, as it is caused by the body mistakenly breaking down muscle tissue and fat. People with cachexia lose muscle and often also fat. Scientists believe cancer releases chemicals into the blood.

Chemicals contribute to fat and muscle loss. A clinical trial evaluates psychological factors associated with weight loss. Addresses the frequency of cancer-induced anorexia (loss of appetite) and cachexia (wasting disease) in patients with anxiety and depression, and evaluates body composition and takes into account other mitigating factors. About 60 out of 100 people with lung cancer (60%) have loss of appetite and significant weight loss at diagnosis.

Whether it's due to pain from a growing tumor, difficulty swallowing caused by radiation therapy, or nausea, loss of appetite, or mouth sores sometimes caused by chemotherapy, involuntary weight loss is a serious side effect of cancer and its treatment for many patients. If left unchecked, loss of appetite can lead to severe weight loss and muscle wasting marked by loss of strength, as well as compromised immune function. Side effects of cancer and its treatments can cause problems with diet, digestion and weight. According to the American Cancer Society, unexplained weight loss is often the first notable symptom of cancers of the esophagus, pancreas, stomach and lung.

And when you don't get enough calories to keep your body alone, the result is to lose weight. Loss of appetite can occur as a result of a condition called “cachexia” or a metabolic change caused by the cancer itself or, which may also be affected by cancer treatments. According to the American Society for Clinical Oncology, about 40 percent of people with cancer say they experienced unexplained and involuntary weight loss before their initial diagnosis. Therefore, it is important for cancer patients to maintain their weight to have the best possible chance.

If you are concerned about your weight loss and have other worrying symptoms, make an appointment with your healthcare provider. They help people maintain a healthy weight and get the important nutrients they need, such as proteins, vitamins and minerals. If your calorie intake is too low, you not only lose weight, but also reduce your ability to physically and mentally cope with your treatment. However, some experts follow the general rule that an involuntary weight loss of more than five percent of body weight over a period of six months to a year requires a medical evaluation.

Still, it's a good idea to follow up with your healthcare provider about any significant weight loss that can't be explained by changes in your diet or activity levels. .

Sharron Bouyer
Sharron Bouyer

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