What Type Of Pain Causes Weight Loss Constipation And Depression Weight Loss And Cancer: Aggressive Treatment Saves Lives And Improves Quality Of Life

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Weight Loss And Cancer: Aggressive Treatment Saves Lives And Improves Quality Of Life

Losing weight from cancer is a major issue in our daily routine. Half of cancer patients experience significant weight loss. The type of cancer that affects weight loss is what I call cancer cachexia. This has a significant impact on quality of life and approximately 20% of cancers are attributed to weight loss, not cancer.

Meaning of words:

Anorexia: Low appetite. About 15 percent to 25 percent of all cancer patients are diagnosed with cancer.

Cachexia: The net result is said to be significant weight loss, muscle weakness, and general weakness.

Most cancer patients have Anorexia and Cachexia. Some people really want it but still lose weight. Some of my patients say..”But doc..I don’t understand, I’m eating well but still losing weight…”. The reason is simple, these patients consume more calories than they can replace through food.

What is important to know and do when you see weight loss in cancer patients?

Patients who stop losing weight feel better, improve their quality of life, improve their immune system, reduce the risk of disease, maintain their energy level and strength so that the patient is more comfortable with the treatment and is more likely to heal and heal faster.

Reasons for weight loss in cancer:

1. Transfer of nutrients to cancer cells and away from normal tissues and organs. It is like an instinct in the body that feeds on the food it eats.

2. Cancers secrete substances that greatly reduce protein production and increase breakdown. Muscle loss and weight loss are the inevitable result.

3. Side effects of Treatment: oral pain, dry mouth, difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, pain, depression and anxiety. Cancer medications can make patients taste and smell different.

4. The direct effect of cancer: Cancers of the mouth, esophagus and stomach cause physical pain and obstruction and patients cannot eat and swallow food resulting in lack of food.

How do you know if cancer is related to weight loss?

Many times, this is obvious and the patient will talk about it. However, early signs of such a condition can be seen when losing more than 5 % of body weight in the 6 months before failure.

Cancer treatment related to weight loss:

A. Increase the side effects of the treatment. Conditions such as mouth sores, dry mouth and other medications.

B. Treating the direct effects of cancer and cancer treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy as well as surgery. The placement of a feeding tube into the stomach is used for patients who have difficulty swallowing and physical problems with eating.

C. Treating Anorexia and Cachexia with:

1. Megestrol in the form of Megace solution is known to increase muscle mass in patients with cancer.

2. Dronabinol and Marinol are FDA-approved forms of marijuana to help stimulate appetite.

3. Steroids like Dexamethasone.

4. Fish oil. Many studies have shown the benefits of fish oil supplementation. Recent studies have shown their benefits in treating weight loss and anorexia from cancer and its treatments.

In summary, weight loss in cancer patients is a condition that is not well understood and treated by patients and their caregivers. I believe that being able to address this issue will have a significant impact on the lives of our patients. Not only can we improve their overall quality of life but we can also achieve better cure rates as these patients are more likely to respond to active therapy.

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