Cancer and weight loss
It’s not uncommon to find you lose weight unintentionally due to the impact cancer and its treatment has on your body.
If you are diagnosed with cancer, it may increase the body’s nutritional requirements depending on the type and/or its location in your body. Cancer may also impact your ability to eat and drink what you normally would due to your symptoms, if you have any.
Once you start cancer treatment, it can be harder to eat, maintain a healthy weight and meet your nutritional requirements through your usual diet alone. This is often due to common side effects.
Post-cancer treatment, eating well and maintaining a healthy weight may help lower the chances of some cancers returning and improve your overall health. Research has shown that having a healthy body weight may reduce the risk of some cancers returning and improve survival.1
If you are concerned about weight loss and cancer, consult with a dietitian who can work with you to devise tailored strategies based on your personal circumstances. They may recommend you eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day, and/or implement a high energy, high protein diet.
If your usual diet is not enough to meet the nutritional requirements you need to maintain a healthy weight, your healthcare professional may recommend a nutrition support solution, for example an oral nutritional supplement like Fortisip Compact Protein. This dual approach can give your body more energy and protein which helps you stabilise your weight or regain any lost weight, if required.
- Cancer Council NSW: https://www.cancercouncil.com.au/cancer-prevention/healthy-eating-after-cancer/weight-loss-tips-for-cancer-survivors/ Accessed July 2020.