Many patients experience weight gain and other metabolic changes following chemotherapy and cancer-related treatments.
- Breast cancer and prostate cancer therapies, in particular, can slow metabolism and contribute to weight gain. Steroids, which many patients receive, can lead to inflammation and weight gain.
- Other factors, such as immobility following surgery, fatigue and even depression can contribute to weight gain.
- Maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.8 is essential to reducing your risk of cancer.
You can achieve a healthy BMI by balancing the energy you consume with the energy you expend. For most people, weight loss occurs by decreasing calorie intake and increasing physical activity.
Combating long-term Effects
To combat the long-term effects of cancer, survivors should:
- Eat a balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, protein and whole grains
- Strive for 75 minutes of rigorous or 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. Try finding an activity you love, like walking, hiking, cycling or playing a sport.
If losing weight is overwhelming or too difficult to tackle independently, ask your doctor about City of Hope’s weight-reduction clinic and certified nutritionists.