Monday, December 23, 2013

Unexplained Excessive Weight Loss and Lung Cancer- How to Stop Weight Loss in Patients

Unexplained, excessive weight loss is likely to cause concern in any individual. In persons who are fighting lung cancer, seeing a change like this one can make them worry even more about the effect that the disease has on their bodies.

Lung cancer affects thousands of people every year. In the United Kingdom alone, more than 40,000 people are diagnosed with the illness annually. While this disease has been linked to smoking, smokers and people who inhale second hand smoke are not the only ones who can develop this condition.

Lung cancer causes difficulty in breathing and tumors form in the lungs or near the heart. Cancer cells may also spread to others organs, like the liver as well as parts of the respiratory system. The lymph nodes are often affected. If the cancer has not spread far, it may be possible to get rid of it by removing tumors that are in the lung.

Unexplained weight loss is one of the first indicators that something is wrong, when an individual is not aware that they have the disease. A chest x-ray may reveal that cancer is present. This type of weight loss is sometimes accompanied by fatigue and weakness.

Lung cancer
Lung cancer-via Wikimedia, CCA 3.0


If you are a smoker and you notice that you are losing weight rapidly, feel breathless or have chest infections, you should see your doctor immediately. Sometimes people who have cancer and don’t know it lose their appetite. They might explain their weight loss away by saying that they have been eating less. However loss of appetite is also one of the symptoms of lung cancer.

Cancer cells grow at an abnormally fast rate. For this reason, they use up the body’s energy supplies more quickly than normal. This is what causes people to lose weight. If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer and notice that your weight has dropped dramatically, discuss solutions with your physician.

In order to stop weight loss, your doctor may suggest that you take liquid meals. If you are finding it difficult to eat because it hurts or because you have lost your appetite, taking in calories in this way may help you.
Protein bars that are relatively soft can be made at home. These are a good source of calories and essential nutrients and by making them at home, you save money. You also avoid preservatives and ingredients that may cause an allergic reaction or hamper the action of medication.

Try to avoid foods that you know contribute to very loose bowels. This may differ from one person to another. Some people have a bad reaction to one or more of the ingredients that are included in liquid supplements, so be sure to observe your loved one’s reaction to these foods when you are using them.
Source: Nutrition in Cancer Care

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