Oct 12, 2021
Many of us may want to shed a few pounds to look and feel better, but losing weight without trying is a red flag that something unusual is going on in your body. This is a sign to go see your doctor as unintentional weight loss could be a sign that you are malnourished, a condition with many consequences – especially if it comes alongside a cancer diagnosis.
Malnutrition is when you are getting either too much or too little nutrition in the body, causing the body to not function or perform properly. In the case of cancer, this is caused almost always by too little nutrition. This can be because the tumor is using up extra energy or because side effects of your cancer treatment are causing you to not eat or drink enough. Cancers such as head and neck, stomach, pancreatic and colorectal have the highest risk of malnutrition because they affect eating, drinking and digestion but research estimates that 30% to 85% of all cancer patients will experience malnutrition at some point¹. Malnutrition’s key signs are losing weight without trying, loss of appetite, and muscle weakness.
Being malnourished is something to be avoided as it can lead to decreased ability to tolerate treatment and sometimes stopping treatment early. It also reduces the strength of the immune system and slows wound healing, which is especially bad if you require surgery to remove a tumor. Overall, it has a negative effect on your quality of life by making you more tired and weak and could lead to longer stays in the hospital. This condition increases mortality, with the National Cancer Institute reporting that up to 1 in 5 cancer deaths are related to malnutrition¹.
The most important way to prevent malnutrition is to eat! Sounds easy enough, but if you are having symptoms which affect your appetite, your energy level, or the way your body feels, it can be very hard to get enough to eat. There are many ways to meet this challenge, here are a few main points:
Making nutrition a priority is always a healthy thing to do, but it is especially important after a cancer diagnosis. If you have any questions on malnutrition or any other topic related to food, join our community and reach out to OncoPower Nutrition on our app today and one of our Registered Dietitians will be happy to help. Check back soon for our blog post on nutrition-related symptom management for tips on how to eat well when not feeling well.
Virginia, United States
I am a HER2 negative ER positive stage IV breast cancer patient. Last year, wonderful doctors here suggested me to test for PIK3CA mutation (cobas® PIK3CA Mutation Test). It was found positive.
My Newport Beach oncologist put me Piqray + Faslodex combo since nine months. I got test reports two months in a row. THANK GOD, my tumor is stable! Thank you Doctors! I urge members with stage 4 cancer here not to lose hope or give up.
Florida, United States
I had posted last year about my husband who has been diagnosed with stage 3 esophageal cancer. His is an esophageal squamous cell carcinoma type, so there was a consensus among his oncologist at FCS and Oncopower doctors here that Opdivo + Yervoy is the best option I am happy to share an update that he is doing well. His appetite has increased, follows recommended diet and regained some of the weight. We will keep our fingers crossed though!
Pennsylvania, United States
That is why i like this app .. always incorporating alternative and complimentary services that are effective.
Iowa , United States
Dr. Josh McFarlane, Thank you. I am planning to subscribe for premium service, and work with Dt. Tlemcani, the breast oncologist recommended by many patients here.
Western Cape, South Africa
Wow, thank you so very much ! I have no words for your kindness and support. I appreciate it very much!
Floroda United States
I have used it. Dr. T, Dr. Luini, Dr. Shah and Dr. Koduru are all very passionate about patients. I recommend it any day because you can get multiple doctors to take a look at the issue.
The tool is super easy. I can’t think of a more affordable online doctor service.
Florida, United States
Yes, by the Grace of God, there we go 🫂 † What helps me is music, has always relaxed me. I too had chemo and almost done with radiation treatments to treat breast cancer, along with surgery. I empathize with you and so blessed to have found this awesome app as well. Made me so happy to know there are doctors here to advise me along with other feedbacks from many others going thru the same or similar as me. When two or more gather 🤗 stay strong 💪
New York, United States
My husband is a Stage IIIB non small cell lung cancer, unresectable. Underwent concurrent chemotherapy with radiation therapy and now on Imfinzi maintenance since November 2020. So far okay.
Docs, Thank you all here for suggestions. Warriors for your support.
California, United States
Thank you guys .This App is great A lot of support.