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 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.
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- Malnutrition due to appetite loss causes 20 percent of cancer deaths.
- Significant weight loss from an extreme breakdown of lean muscle mass is called cachexia. The condition may quickly become life-threatening.
- 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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