Loss Of Appetite And Cancer

Loss of appetite is either feeling like you’re never hungry, or feeling full after eating very little, or consuming less food overall. This is a symptom that you shouldn’t ignore in any way!

Loss Of Appetite And Cancer

What are the causes of losing appetite in cancer patients?

Loss of appetite is a side effect of both cancer and cancer treatment. A tumor may interfere with the body’s hunger signals in several ways.

  • Cancers of the head and neck, gastrointestinal tract may cause difficulty swallowing, make eating painful, nausea and stress or create a full feeling despite an empty stomach.
  • Ovarian, lung and pancreatic cancers also commonly cause loss of appetite.
  • Tumours release hormones that may distort your body’s perception of hunger, making you feel full when you’re not.

Cancer treatment: Loss of appetite may follow most cancer treatments, from surgery to chemotherapy.

  • Surgery on the digestive organs may cause complications such as pain and inflammation, leading to swallowing difficulties or digestive issues.
  • A range of side effects may contribute to a loss of appetite as a side effect of chemotherapy , radiation and immunotherapy.
    • Mouth sores and dry mouth and sore throat that make eating painful
    • Nausea and vomiting that make it tough to keep food down
    • Fatigue from treatment, making you too tired to eat
    • An altered sense of taste and smell that may make many foods unappealing.

Read on – How Antioxidants Prevent Cancer?

When to be concerned?

  1. Malnutrition due to appetite loss causes 20 percent of cancer deaths.
  2. Significant weight loss from an extreme breakdown of lean muscle mass is called cachexia. The condition may quickly become life-threatening.
  3. Complications of cachexia include a decreased quality of life, reduction in immunity, increase in symptoms from the underlying cancer, and reduced life expectancy.

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