What is it about cancer that causes weight loss?

June 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Common Questions

weight loss
by jackiebese

Question by kwhotrods: What is it about cancer that causes weight loss?
My wife has stage IV kidney cancer.Lately she has been losing weight,even though her latest scans show stable disease.Just wondering what is it about cancer that causes weight loss?
Ben, I am not talking about being over weight and wanting to shed a few pounds.I am talking about weight lose caused by cancer.

Best answer:

Answer by peaches6
The weight loss many people with advanced cancer experience may be caused by increased metabolism due to their disease, according to a study published in the International Journal of Cancer, (Vol. 93, No. 3: 380-383).

This means that it is especially important for patients with advanced cancer to increase their food intake to maintain body weight and optimize their health, say experts.

“We know that as the disease progresses, nutrition becomes a matter of concern,” says Terri Ades, RN, MS, AOCN, director of quality of life and health promotion strategy for the American Cancer Society (ACS). “Often patients are undernourished and lose weight, and we cannot fully explain why.”

In the study, Swedish researchers looked at food intake in almost 300 advanced cancer patients with solid tumors, age 30 to 90 years old. Participants kept a careful diary of everything they ate for four days. During that period, the research team measured the patients’ weight, weight loss, and resting metabolism.

More than 40% of these patients were 10% or more below their normal long-term weight levels, but this did not seem to be due to lower food intake. Almost half of them had an unusually high resting metabolic rate, but the people with high metabolisms didn’t seem to eat an extra amount of food.

“Usually when someone uses extra energy, they have a sense of hunger and eat more food, which provides the body with needed nutrients,” Ades says. “In this study, in this group of patients, that did not seem to happen.”

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!


3 Responses to “What is it about cancer that causes weight loss?”
  1. Lori says:

    Cancer patients can have issues with weight loss for multiple reasons. One of which is lack of appetite due to
    various treatments like Chemo. Another possible cause is depression associated with cancer. A third possibility is a higher necessary caloric intake because of infection or enlarged tumors. There finally is a cancer associated issue called Cachexia. It is a wasting syndrome that causes loss of muscle and fat. Aproximately half of all cancer patients suffer from it.
    I hope that helps to answer your question.

  2. Shawty Kim says:

    idk sorry

  3. Ben R says:

    There is a great free resource over at http://www.fastweightlosetoday.com where i am sure you can find the answer you are looking for. They have loads of free articles and information. Check them out..

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!