Whenever people think about cancer, and its treatments, they often imagine it involves considerable weight loss, and loss of appetite. Indeed, for some types of cancer – depending on the type and stage of the disease – they can trigger a loss of weight. However, for others, the treatments and experience of cancer lead to weight gain, which can be demoralising and on occasions lead to further ill health.
There are several factors which may lead to weight gain with treatment of any cancer. Many of the treatments, especially hormone therapies and steroids, can cause fluid retention and increased appetite. Being tired from the multiple effects of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery can mean that people exercise less, so are not burning up calories. Family members and friends may be doing their best to ‘feed you up’, and you may be comfort eating because of the cancer related stress, or be craving more sweet things.
For some, weight may have been an issue for a number of years, and the cancer experience has contributed to concerns about weight gain. What is becoming clear, is that maintaining a healthy weight after cancer, can help you feel fitter and go some way to prevent recurrence. It is something that can help you regain control of your life, after all of the uncertainty, by doing something positive to help yourself.
Nutritional advice and support is available at Maggie’s Centres to help develop healthy eating habits, and lose weight at a sensible pace
We have added links here to our various online course materials, and other useful articles, organisation links and information about weight gain management.