Recent Weight Change

It is common to experience weight changes during cancer treatment. Please talk to your healthcare team if you are concerned either about weight loss or gain during treatment.

Loss of Appetite
  • Eat several small meals or snacks rather than three large meals per day.
  • Keep nutritious snacks on hand.
  • Vary your diet- try new recipes and foods.
  • Add olive oil to increase the caloric intake of foods you do eat.
  • Take a walk before meals to spur your appetite.
  • Drink protein-fortified beverages or add milk or yogurt to increase protein and calories.

Weight Loss

Weight loss can be a result of eating less due to stomach issues (nausea, diarrhea, vomiting), dehydration and poor appetite. It can result in weight loss of a few or more pounds in a week along with dry skin, feelings or weakness and fatigue, dizziness and loose fitting clothing.

Tips for combating weight loss:
  • Drink beverages with high levels of protein and calories.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other beverages without caffeine.
  • Eat high-protein foods.
  • Ask your healthcare team to arrange a meeting with a dietitian.

Weight Gain

Weight gain is also common during treatment caused by less physical activity, eating more, retaining water (swelling) and certain medications. It can cause weight gain of a few pounds in a week, swollen ankles, shortness of breath, and feeling puffy or bloated.

Tips for weight loss:
  • Talk with your doctor or nurse about limiting fluid if your ankles are swollen.
  • Limit your salt intake.
  • Limit high-calorie foods.
  • Discuss ways to reduce swelling and the benefits of seeing a dietitian with your healthcare team.

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