Unintentional Weight Loss Or Gain
Unintentional weight loss might be welcomed by some, but when it’s not related to a change in diet or exercise, it always deserves a visit to a healthcare provider. Unexplained weight loss is defined as the loss of 5 percent of body weight or more over a six- to 12-month period without trying. An example would be a 200-pound man losing 10 pounds over a period of six months without a change in habits.
Unintentional weight loss was found to be related to an underlying cancer, including liver cancer, in a third of people observed in a 2017 review of studies. Other serious causes exist as well, so it’s important to see a healthcare provider as soon you recognize such a change.
Rapid and unexpected weight gain is also a possible sign of liver cancer. This usually occurs due to the rapid build-up of fluid in the abdomen .
Studies Have Shown That Carefully Controlled Exercise Is Safe For Patients With Lymphedema
Exercise does not increase the chance that lymphedema will develop in patients who are at risk for lymphedema. In the past, these patients were advised to avoid exercising the affected limb. Studies have now shown that slow, carefully controlled exercise is safe and may even help keep lymphedema from developing. Studies have also shown that, in breast-cancersurvivors, upper-body exercise does not increase the risk that lymphedema will develop.
Lymphedema Is The Build
Lymphedema occurs when the lymph system is damaged or blocked. Fluid builds up in soft body tissues and causes swelling. It is a common problem that may be caused by cancer and cancer treatment. Lymphedema usually affects an arm or leg, but it can also affect other parts of the body. Lymphedema can cause long-term physical, psychological, and social problems for patients.
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Should I Be Concerned About Cancer
It can be alarming when your jeans start to fit too snugly and the numbers on the scale slowly creep up. While weight gain is often a normal response to the changes noted above, some weight gain and associated symptoms can indicate a more serious problem. You should contact your doctor if you experience:
sudden weight gain of five pounds or more within a week
painful swollen ankles, legs, or arms
shortness of breath
stretchy, shiny skin
What Causes Weight Gain Associated With Ovarian Cancer
The culprit behind ovarian cancer-related weight gain varies depending where you are on the diagnostic journey.Ovarian cancer can cause weight gain for a number of reasons:
Ovarian tumors take up space in the abdomen. For some women, swelling and bloating in the abdomen is a symptom of ovarian cancer. Before diagnosis, many dismiss this as simple weight gain. However, any unusual weight gain – or loss – should be checked out by a physician.
Your eating habits change. Certain ovarian cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and steroids, can trigger cravings for foods youve never wanted before. These foods are often starchier or higher in carbohydrates, which contributes to weight gain. Some women find that keeping a full stomach helps stave off treatment-induced nausea and vomiting, so they snack more than usual.
You have treatment side effects. Some cancer treatments put the brakes on your bodys fat-burning machine, your metabolism. A slower metabolism burns fewer calories. Chemotherapy and hormone therapy can also induce cravings, lead to water retention, and cause nausea that improves when you eat.
You move less. Fatigue is a common complaint of people with cancer. Your body is using a lot of energy to destroy cancer cells. Treatments can also zap your energy. Even the most active person may find they cant get off the couch to take a walk. Reduced physical activity is a top contributor to weight gain.
Unexplained Rapid Weight Loss
Unexplained rapid weight loss can be the sign of cancer or other health problems. The Mayo Clinic recommends that you see your doctor if you lose more than 5 percent of your total body weight in six months to a year. To put this into perspective: If you weigh 160 pounds, 5 percent of your body weight is 8 pounds.
According to the American Cancer Society, an unexplained weight loss of 10 pounds or more could be the first sign of cancer. The types of cancer often identified with this type of weight loss include cancers of the:
What Causes The Weight Gain
Several factors can cause women with ovarian cancer to gain weight.
Tumors are the major cause. Ovarian tumors are buried deep within the abdomen. They often arent discovered until theyre relatively large. They can cause some abdominal discomfort in the early stages of ovarian cancer, but can be mistaken for a stomachache or another nonthreatening condition.
Tumors grow and cancer spreads, taking up more space inside the uterus if left untreated. Tumors can grow quite large before causing symptoms. This is because the uterus is designed to hold a fetus. Deposits of cancerous cells 2 centimeters or more are often found in the abdomen during stage 3C of ovarian cancer.
Constipation is another cause of weight gain. This can occur when the cancerous growth on the ovaries spreads to other parts of the uterus and abdomen and presses against the intestine or colon. This interferes with normal digestion.
Fluid can build up in the abdomen as tumors grow in or on the ovaries and cancerous cell deposits spread to nearby organs.
Seek medical attention if you experience unexplained weight gain along with abdominal pain, digestive discomfort, and urinary or sexual discomfort. Treatment for ovarian cancer varies depending on factors like:
- stage of the cancer
- size of tumor
- whether you want to have children in the future
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Can Skin Cancer Be Removed
Mohs surgery, though, is the single most effective technique for completely removing the most common kinds of skin cancer. Because the surgery can be accomplished relatively quickly with instant feedback on the success of removing the cancerous cells, the procedure brings many patients peace of mind Dr.
Dark Spot On Palms Or Soles Of Feet
Acral lentiginous melanoma is a type of cancer that develops on the palms of the hands, nail beds, or soles of the feet. This melanoma is darker than the skin around it and starts out as a small spot that looks like a bruise or stain. It may be tan, gray, brown, or black. Occasionally, the spot may be red or orange, but the border around the spot is usually clearly defined. Researchers believe this type of melanoma skin cancer is genetic and not related to sun exposure. Acral lentiginous melanoma is more common in people of African and Asian descent. It often goes unnoticed and misdiagnosed, but ALM is more aggressive than other forms of melanoma, and prompt diagnosis and treatment is essential.
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Blood When You Use The Bathroom
If you see blood in the toilet after you go, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor. Bloody stool is likely to come from swollen, inflamed veins called hemorrhoids, but there’s a chance it could be colon cancer. Blood in your pee could be a problem like a urinary tract infection, but it may be kidney or bladder cancer.
Cancer And Its Treatment Are Risk Factors For Lymphedema
Lymphedema can occur after any cancer or treatment that affects the flow of lymph through the lymph nodes, such as removal of lymph nodes. It may develop within days or many years after treatment. Most lymphedema develops within three years of surgery. Risk factors for lymphedema include the following:
- Removal and/or radiation of lymph nodes in the underarm, groin, pelvis, or neck. The risk of lymphedema increases with the number of lymph nodes affected. There is less risk with the removal of only the sentinel lymph node .
- Being overweight or having obesity.
- Slow healing of the skin after surgery.
- A tumor that affects or blocks the left lymph duct or lymph nodes or vessels in the neck, chest, underarm, pelvis, or abdomen.
- Scar tissue in the lymph ducts under the collarbones, caused by surgery or radiation therapy.
Lymphedema often occurs in breast cancer patients who had all or part of their breast removed and axillary lymph nodes removed. Lymphedema in the legs may occur after surgery for uterine cancer, prostate cancer, lymphoma, or melanoma. It may also occur with vulvar cancer or ovarian cancer. Lymphedema occurs frequently in patients with cancers of the head and neck due to high-dose radiation therapy and combined surgery.
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How Can Weight Gain From Fluid Retention Be Managed
Fluid retention or edema is swelling caused by the buildup of fluid in the body. If you have edema, you might feel like your clothes, rings, or shoes are too tight. People with edema can also have less flexibility in their hands, elbows, wrists, fingers, or legs. Swollen arms or legs, especially around the wrists or ankles, are also a sign of edema. The fluid buildup collects under the skin, so your skin might feel puffy or stiff. Pressing on your skin might leave small indentations.
Talk to your health care team about any of these symptoms so they can diagnose and treat edema. Some of the ways edema can be managed include:
Medication. Your doctor can prescribe a diuretic to remove excess water.
Lower the amount of salt in your diet.
Avoid standing for long periods.
Elevate your feet as often as possible.
Avoid crossing your legs, which restricts blood flow.
Weigh yourself at the same time every day to keep track of changes. This can help your health care team see any fluctuations in your weight that might be caused by edema. Bring this log with you to appointments for your health care team to evaluate.
Avoid tight clothing and footwear.
Ask your health care team if wearing support or compression socks may help.
If You Want To Try To Stop Gaining Weight
- Ask if you need to limit fluid if your ankles are swollen. If you have swelling in your abdomen , limiting fluids may not help and you should call your cancer care team.
- Choose healthier, lower calorie foods.
- Cut back on sugar-sweetened beverages.
- Limit your salt intake.
- Limit food portions especially with high-calorie foods.
- Read food labels to become more aware of portion sizes and calories. Be aware that low-fat or non-fat doesnt always mean low-calorie.
- Try to walk daily if you can and if its OK with your doctor. Talk with your cancer care team about referral to a physical therapist to help you safely increase activity levels.
- Ask about meeting with a dietitian.
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When Lymphedema Is Severe And Does Not Get Better With Treatment Other Problems May Be The Cause
Sometimes severe lymphedema does not get better with treatment or it develops several years after surgery. If there is no known reason, doctors will try to find out if the problem is something other than the original cancer or cancer treatment, such as another tumor.
Lymphangiosarcoma is a rare, fast-growing cancer of the lymph vessels. It is a problem that occurs in some breast cancer patients and appears an average of 10 years aftera mastectomy. Lymphangiosarcoma begins as purple lesions on the skin, which may be flat or raised. A CT scan or MRI is used to check for lymphangiosarcoma. Lymphangiosarcoma usually cannot be cured.
Learn More: Dog Health And Behavior
What foods should you be feeding your dog? And have you ever wondered why your dog tilts its head? If youre concerned about your dogs health or behavior, there are ways you can help. Give your dog coconut oil, for example, to offer them a variety of benefits, including an immunity boost. This may help decreases their chances of developing diseases such as cancer.
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If You Want To Try To Stop Losing Weight
- Be sure to drink enough water and other liquids. Drink liquids between meals not during, so you wont fill up.
- Choose snacks that are high in calories and protein such as nuts, trail mix, dried fruit, granola, peanut butter, hard-boiled eggs, or cheese.
- Drink smoothies, milkshakes, and nutritional supplements or bars to put more calories and protein in your diet.
- Eat your favorite food any time of the day: Eat breakfast foods for dinner dinner foods for lunch
- Try adding high-calorie foods such as whipped cream, sour cream, cream cheese, butter, or gravy to what you eat to avoid further weight loss.
- Ask about meeting with a dietitian.
What Is Carcinoid Syndrome
Most people with carcinoid syndrome have advanced cancer. Carcinoid syndrome is found in those who have a cancerous tumor that spreads to the liver. Based on the location of the liver, carcinoid syndrome usually occurs nearby, in the gastrointestinal tract or the lungs.
The syndrome appears when a carcinoid tumor secretes certain hormones, such as serotonin and histamine, into your bloodstream. These chemicals are generally nullified by the liver before they get the opportunity to spread throughout the body however, if liver function is compromised, it may not neutralize the chemicals prior to reaching the bloodstream resulting in carcinoid syndrome.
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Can Exercise Help Reduce My Risk Of Developing Breast Cancer
Exercise is a big part of a healthy lifestyle. It can also be a useful way to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer in your postmenopausal years. Women often gain weight and body fat during menopause. People with higher amounts of body fat can be at a higher risk of breast cancer. However, by reducing your body fat through exercise, you may be able to lower your risk of developing breast cancer.
The general recommendation for regular exercise is about 150 minutes each week. This would mean that you work out for about 30 minutes, five days each week. However, doubling the amount of weekly exercise to 300 minutes can greatly benefit postmenopausal women. The longer duration of exercise allows for you to burn more fat and improve your heart and lung function.
The type of exercise you do can vary the main goal is get your heart rate up as you exercise. Its recommended that your heart rate is raised about 65 to 75% of your maximum heart rate during exercise. You can figure out your maximum heart rate by subtracting your current age from 220. If you are 65, for example, your maximum heart rate is 155.
Aerobic exercise is a great way to improve your heart and lung function, as well as burn fat. Some aerobic exercises you can try include:
Remember, there are many benefits to working more exercise into your weekly routine. Some benefits of aerobic exercise can include:
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Red Flag #: Chest Pain And Trouble Breathing
Melanoma is also known to spread to the lungs, though Dr. Zaba notes that most people dont experience noticeable symptoms in the lungs until a tumor has gotten pretty large. A cough that just wont quit or recurring chest infections can signal that the cancer has traveled to the lungs, Dr. Polsky says. Shortness of breath or trouble breathing can also be a red flag.
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Red Flag #: Unexplained Weight Loss And Loss Of Appetite
Unintentional weight loss is a common side effect of any cancer. When it comes to melanoma, extreme weight loss usually only happens after the cancer has spread from the skin to other parts of the body. Dr. Zaba says she can sometimes tell if a patients melanoma has metastasized because it looks like they have cachexia, a syndrome marked by drastic loss of fat and muscle and increased weakness. Cachexia can also cause loss of appetite, which further contributes to the problem.
Symptoms If Cancer Has Spread To The Brain
You might have any of the following symptoms if your cancer has spread to your brain:
- weakness of a part of the body
- personality changes or mood changes
- eyesight changes
J Tobias and D HochhauserJohn Wiley and Sons Ltd
TNM Staging ChartsLippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2009
Improving supportive and palliative care for adults with cancerNational Institute for Clinical Excellence , 2004
Oxford Textbook of Palliative MedicineEds D Doyle and othersOxford Universty Press, 3rd edition 2005
Cancer and its Management J Tobias and D HochhauserWiley Blackwell, 2015
Tests That Examine The Lymph System Are Used To Diagnose Lymphedema
- Physical exam and history: An exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patients health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
- Lymphoscintigraphy: A method used to check the lymph system for disease. A very small amount of a radioactive substance that flows through the lymph ducts and can be taken up by lymph nodes is injected into the body. A scanner or probe is used to follow the movement of this substance. Lymphoscintigraphy is used to find the sentinel lymph node or to diagnose certain diseases or conditions, such as lymphedema.
- MRI : A procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. This procedure is also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging .
The swollen arm or leg is usually measured and compared to the other arm or leg. Measurements are taken over time to see how well treatment is working.
A grading system is also used to diagnose and describe lymphedema. Grades 1, 2, 3, and 4 are based on size of the affected limb and how severe the signs and symptoms are.