Worried about weight loss.: I’m worried... - The Roy Castle Lu...

The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

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Worried about weight loss.

Loimie profile image

I’m worried about my weight since being diagnosed with lung cancer. I’ve always been slim, 50kg but now I’m 45kg. When first diagnosed I lost my appetite, but the last 2-3 week’s I’m eating a well balanced diet. I don’t eat sweet stuff and I’m mainly vegetarian. My Doctor has also given me some nutrition drinks. My Consultant Dr Summer says she’s not concerned, should I be? Any advice much appreciated.

14 Replies

If your consultant is comfortable with your situation that's a good thing. My weight fluctuated considerably - to start with weight gain from all the steroids I was given for my misdiagnosed 'uncontrolled asthma' that had hospitalised me, and inactivity as I was used to swimming distances several times a week and had stopped for a couple of months before my treatment. my weight increased to my heaviest ever after my surgery but it started to come off as life returned to more normal activity - returned to work 3 mths post treatment and swimming but had to restart and build up slowly. Within a couple of years the weight came off and off - quite frightening at one point losing 6stones without dieting to 8stone from 14st 6lbs! i was sent for no end of investigations which went on for almost a year - passed from one 'oligist' to another... as they suspected recurrence. thankfully it wasn't and endocronoligist believed it to be adrenal difficulties after coming off steroids too quickly which had disrupted my metabolism. That was in 2012-13 and I've regained a lot of weight since 2019 after another hospital 'episode'... then the pandemic. There will be times when you have little appetite or eating can be difficult if struggling to breathe for example but it's important to eat something regularly - better to be in food than the drink supplements but if that's all you can manage, then use them. better to make home made soups, have things like Greek yoghurt which give protein but easy to swallow and nutritious. There's good advice on Roy Castle lung cancer foundation website but so long as you're trying to eat, little and often less overwhelming than large plates of food, that's good... good luck... roycastle.org/about-lung-ca...

Loimie profile image
Loimie in reply to JanetteR57

Thanks Janette for your advice. I must admit I don't like the supplements, so don't ask for them on px anymore. I am regaining my appetite, mainly vegetarian. Like I say I'm 45kg, usually I between 8-8.5 stone's. I have always been around that weight. Not sure if that's drastic weight loss. Read something about a word beginning with K, can't recall it now, to do with cancer and weight loss, it said that's what usually kills you before the cancer. I've lost muscle too but at 65 I think that's pretty normal and I'm not doing my cycling and weights at the moment due to advice from Dr Summer at Christie, like I say she is not concerned at all. Love and best wishes. Pam

JanetteR57 profile image
JanetteR57 in reply to Loimie

it's sounds like a 'k' but is actually a 'c' - cachexia = muscle wasting - this can happen even if people don't lose weight - as many lung cancer patients may be on steroids for cancer or other respiratory conditions so it can mask that although there is no weight loss, the muscle mass is deteriorating... I know your consultant so I'd be encouraged by her comments...

Loimie profile image
Loimie in reply to JanetteR57

Thanks Janette, yes, that's the one, begins with C!! She's lovely Dr Summer isn't she, she said she will be honest with me. Atezolizumab is the immunotherapy, 2nd one one Thursday. She said it's long term, that gave me hope, but I just don't know. On a bit of a downer today what with other problem, from osteoporosis. Sending love and best wishes. Pam

JanetteR57 profile image
JanetteR57 in reply to Loimie

She is... don't worry, we all have days when we're less optimistic - it can knock even the 'strongest minded' people - and it's a lot to take in.... having 'long term' treatment should give you hope - some of these immunotherapy and targeted agents have been game changers for many people... and there are new ones being developed all the time... hang on in there and do something nice to cheer yourself up whatever works for you - bubble bath? manicure? chocolate? cake? glass of something? nice cup to tea? escape into a film? take care.

Loimie profile image
Loimie in reply to JanetteR57

Haha! Wish I could ride my bike or go a walk but she's banned me! Have to lie flat most of the time to keep it stable, so having a brew and biscuits! Film sounds good. Thanks Janette and take care.

JanetteR57 profile image
JanetteR57 in reply to Loimie

You too... btw you can have extra biscuits! :)

Loimie profile image
Loimie in reply to JanetteR57

I've had too many now! Tea time soon! 😋

Hi Loimie I don't have any personal experience of this but it's good to hear that your consultant isn't concerned and that you are now eating well. There is some great info on the Macmillan site about "building up diet" here be.macmillan.org.uk/Downloa...

Is there a nutritionist at your hospital who you can speak to?

Best wishes x

Loimie profile image
Loimie in reply to sassassas

Thanks Sassa, yes, I've got a Macmillan pack, very good, everything in it. I'm eating well at minute, I'm mainly vegetarian, not a pudding and cake person! I suppose it isn't drastic weight loss, I've always been around 8 stone all my life, 45kg think that's under 7 stone. Only regained appetite last 3 weeks probably won't see weight gain yet. I look so scrawny! Sending love and best wishes. Pam xxx

Hi Loimie if your consultant is okay with it don't worry. Why don't you have a few naughty days 😊 I know your not a sweet eater but maybe something else xx

Loimie profile image
Loimie in reply to Ollie13

Thanks Ollie, yes if she is not concerned then I shouldn't be. How are you Ollie? Sending love and best wishes. Pam xxx

Ollie13 profile image
Ollie13 in reply to Loimie

Hi Pat Waiting for Pet scan results on Wednesday 🤞 and I'm putting on weight every time they have me on steroids with chemotherapy 🙄 stay safe and well Janet xx

Loimie profile image
Loimie in reply to Ollie13

Let me know how you get on Ollie, I'm on short course steroid for compressed vertebrae, it does make you hungry doesn't it! Love and best wishes. Pam xx

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