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Doctor insights on: Does Cancer Always Cause Weight Loss

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Can cancer itself cause weight loss?

Can cancer itself cause weight loss?

Yes: Tumor cachexia is a condition usually seen in patients with advanced cancer that results in loss of lean body mass. Part of it is due to decreased caloric intake but there is also a hypercatabolic state mediated by certain substances produced by the cancer. Of course, organ damage (like liver) due to the cancer also contributes. ...Read more

Dr. Heidi Fowler
2,007 doctors shared insights

Losing Weight (Definition)

Many people resolve to lose weight in the New Year for different reasons. For those who are overweight or obese, there are many health benefits to losing weight. It can help decrease your chances of developing diseases including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, and even certain types of cancer. Low-calorie diets combined with increased physical activity are thought to be most effective long term. The healthiest weight loss regimen, therefore, is one that consists of making lifestyle changes that incorporate a balanced diet ...Read more


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What is the aspect of cancer that causes weight loss?

What is the aspect of cancer that causes weight loss?

Multiple causes: Cancers are cells that grow outside the bodies control system, so the cancer cells steal nutrition from the healthy cells. Cancer patients frequently don't feel well, and therefore don't eat as much as they did in a pre-cancerous state. Also, with feeling poorly people tend to be less active, and therefore lose muscle mass. I hope this helps. Good luck. ...Read more

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Would gastric cancer typically cause weight loss before pain?

Would gastric cancer typically cause weight loss before pain?

Many causes for weig: There are many causes for weight loss. Cancer is just one of more than one dozen causes. Cancer anywhere in the body can lead to unexplained weight loss usually due to loss of appetite. Gastric cancer can cause one of many symptoms like nausea, weight loss and sometimes pain but only when it is large and starting to obstruct the gastric outlet. ...Read more

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What are possible causes of weight loss in a 5-yr-old child? How would you rule out cancer as a possible cause?

What are possible causes of weight loss in a 5-yr-old child? How would you rule out cancer as a possible cause?

Risk factors : Most kids just grow into their weight however real weight loss without a change I'm diet. Should be evaluated with basic blood work liver function test and a sed rate ...Read more

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Might malignant melanomas cause weight loss in cancer patients?

Might malignant melanomas cause weight loss in cancer patients?

If large can consume: Melanomas, like any cancer, will consume calories at the expense of healthy tissue in addition to suppressing appetite. ...Read more

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Loosing weight may be a warning sign of cancer. Does the person eat less or does the body's metabolism speed up to cause weight loss? Thank-you.

Loosing weight may be a warning sign of cancer. Does the person eat less or does the body's metabolism speed up to cause weight loss? Thank-you.

Loss of appetite: In presence of a malignant tumor, wt. loss is common even without other symptoms. Here depending on the malignant lesion loss of weight and appetite occur. The resulting process is referred to a cachexia or wasting syndrome in a patient not actively trying to lose wt. Tumors associated with cachexia found to produce TNF. When sequenced, the TNF was found to have same sequence as Cachectin ...Read more

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Can terrible anxiety and depression cause weight loss? I've lost around 4-5 kilos (91->86/87) been constantlz under anxiety for 2 months. Fear cancer.

Can terrible anxiety and depression cause weight loss? I've lost around 4-5 kilos (91->86/87) been constantlz under anxiety for 2 months. Fear cancer.

Absolutely: Both anxiety and depression can lead to rapid weight loss as a result of fear, preoccupation, and loss of appetite. However, you can never be certain about this until you visit you primary care doc and talk about your concerns. Be sure to mention any physical issues that may be leading you to fear cancer besides your weight loss. Go soon. Good luck. ...Read more

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Appetite loss but no weight loss im 22 what is it most likely cause? Someone told me stomach cancer

Appetite loss but no weight loss im 22 what is it most likely cause? Someone told me stomach cancer

Not likely at 22!: Stomach ca is very low on the list of causes for a 22-year old with anorexia. Appetite is a complex process mediated by the brain, emotions, metabolic needs, health of the gut & surrounding organs. Lack of weight loss is good news. I recommend a visit to your doctor to discuss the circumstances that preceeded your anorexia & that may contribute to its persistence. Simple testing is appropriate. ...Read more

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Does the myloprolifitive blood cancer- polycythemia vera cause weight loss and fatigue?

Does the myloprolifitive blood cancer- polycythemia vera cause weight loss and fatigue?

Yes,it can cause.: In addition to the prolems of thromosis from excess cellular volume, patients have general symp. Such as fatigue-in nearly 80 percent of people, generalized itching, night sweats, fever, bonepain, and weight loss. Any type of cancer whether blood related or not-like lung, breast cancer patients have symptoms have weight loss, fatigue as cels proliferate in great numers in a short period. ...Read more

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My husband is undergoing chemo/avastin for stage 4 non small cell lung cancer. Dr stopped chemo after 6 cycles cause weight loss. Is this risky?

My husband is undergoing chemo/avastin for stage 4 non small cell lung cancer. Dr stopped chemo after 6 cycles cause weight loss. Is this risky?

Depends : Weight loss may be due to side effect from chemo or tumor progression despite the chemo. Either way, stopping the chemo is reasonable. ...Read more

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Can metformin cause weight loss even though I am on Synthroid (thyroxine) 115 after having thyroid cancer 3 years ago. I am 5 ft8!150 lbs. I am a smallmeater but?

Can metformin cause weight loss even though I am on Synthroid (thyroxine) 115 after having thyroid cancer 3 years ago. I am 5 ft8!150 lbs. I am a smallmeater but?

Metformin: Metformin is considered a weight neutral drug. In clinical trials, the typically weight loss is around 2 kg. The main advantage for metformin is that it does not cause weight gain which is what we always worry about with diabetes drugs. Your bmi is 22.8 which is excellent. I wouldn't worry about it. ...Read more

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If pancreatic cancer was the cause of a blood clot, weight loss and digestive problems, would there be abnormalities in pancreatic function blood tests?

If pancreatic cancer was the cause of a blood clot, weight loss and digestive problems, would there be abnormalities in pancreatic function blood tests?

Pancreas blood tests: Commonly used blood tests of pancreatic-derived proteins (lipase, amylase, insulin, etc.) are notoriously poor markers for cancer given the variety of other things that may elevate them, and the reserve capacity of most organs. So, to answer your question, not neccesarily. The Best tests are high resolution CT with specific pancreas-protocol, and EUS with biopsy. ...Read more

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Causes of weight loss despite eating like pig (fast food, mini muffins, sugared bevs)? Normal CBC. Low-end salivary cortisol. Other Sx are fatigue, sleep issues, and excessive urination. More likely adrenal failure or cancer, and what kind?

Rule out diabetes: And not diabetic? Doubt cancer. And why would you have adrenal failure out of the blue? Not a chronic steroid user, are you? Or had recent infection? Sounds like you need to see an endocrine if your PCP can‘t figure it out. Could be an autoimmune thing, too. ...Read more

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Might somebody have cancer without suffering weight loss?

Yea: Weight loss is a common symptom of cancer but some people gain weight. This can be caused from medications, side effects (fluid retention). Hope this helps. ...Read more

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Is weight loss due to cancer sudden or it can happen over 2-3 years or so?

Is weight loss due to cancer sudden or it can happen over 2-3 years or so?

It depends: On the type of cancer and what organ systems are involved. Some cancers are relatively slow growing, and symptoms may also progress slowly. Others have a more rapid course. ...Read more

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When does weight loss mean that there are serious problem or cancer Thank u?

When does weight loss mean that there are serious problem or cancer
Thank u?

Unexplained: At age 19, you may be exercising for your favorite sport and actually have difficulty maintaining body fat, not that there is any reason to want to. If you feel well, be glad and stop fretting about cancer. If you have abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, night sweats, or a mass, go get seen. ...Read more

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Uninetional weight loss of 7 pounds, have since gained it back. If I had cancer would I be able to gain the weight back or is it a good sign?

Uninetional weight loss of 7 pounds, have since gained it back. If I had cancer would I be able to gain the weight back or is it a good sign?

Good sign: Do not gain more weight, if you are now at your desired body weight.
For good health — Have a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low fat milk and milk products, nuts, beans, legumes, lentils and small amounts of lean meats. Avoid saturated fats. Exercise at least 150 minutes/week and increase the intensity of exercise gradually. Do not use tobacco, alcohol, weed or street drugs in any form.
Practice safe sex.
Get HPV vaccine. ...Read more

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I lost 64 lbs since march. I thought it was cuz of change of diet. But now I'm wondering. If you had cancer could weight loss be your only symptom?

I lost 64 lbs since march. I thought it was cuz of change of diet. But now I'm wondering.  If you had cancer could weight loss be your only symptom?

Not likely with 64 : Lb loss. Weight loss may be the presenting symptom of a cancer, but loss of 64 pounds is likely to have been accompanied by other symptoms, and findings. Do you have any weakness, palpable mass in any site, anemia, bleeding from any opening, pain, fever and loss of appetite? You could do a self trial by changing your diet to see if you gain weight, or better yet see your doctor. ...Read more

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Can weight loss a natural side effect of cancer?

Cancer wth Weight lo: Cancer can cause loss of appetite and loss of weight,
It is not a natural side effect of cancer.
Different cancers and Thor spread to different parts of the body will affect the weight.
Treatment for some cancers has good results.
Please see your Physician about Diagnosis, weight and other concerns;andTreatment. ...Read more

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In gastric cancer, does weight loss generally precede pain.

In gastric cancer, does weight loss generally precede pain.

May have neither: If you have the least concern, get seen by your physician now. ...Read more

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Is weight loss a natural side effect of cancer? What makes a person lose weight?

Is weight loss a natural side effect of cancer?  What makes a person lose weight?

Cancer steals: The cancer cells steal the nutrients that your body needs in order to grow the tumor. There are all other sorts of metabolic derangements that contribute to weight loss in many types of cancer. That's why nutrition is so important during cancer therapy to replace these losses. ...Read more

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Is weight loss in case of esophogus cancer continueous weight loss or weight can go up and down over time?

Is weight loss in case of esophogus cancer continueous weight loss or weight can go up and down over time?

It depends...: Weight loss in patients with Esophageal cancer is related to poor nutrition due to inability to swallow food due to esophageal narrowing or block due to advancing cancer. Unless this obstruction can be relieved(with treatment) or bypassed(gastric/PEG feeding tubes), weight loss is continuous. However, weight loss can be reversed early on with adequate treatments using surgery/Radiotherapy and Chemo ...Read more

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What amount of weight loss would be indicative of cancer typically? I weighed 212 several weeks ago, but now weigh 207lbs without trying.

What amount of weight loss would be indicative of cancer typically? I weighed 212 several weeks ago, but now weigh 207lbs without trying.

Water weight: Hi
If you have no other symptoms, I'd say that given your age and the amount of weight loss, it's unlikely that you have undiagnosed cancer. Keep in mind that total body water can fluctuate a lot, which is typically the cause of day to day weight fluctuations.

1 Liter of water = 1 kg = 2.2 lbs

If you continue to lose weight, an exam at a regular walk-in clinic would be ok. Hope this helps. ...Read more

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Had unintended weight loss (128 to 121lbs), have since gained back the weight. Have had temperatures of 99.5 every night. Should I worry about cancer?

Had unintended weight loss (128 to 121lbs), have since gained back the weight. Have had temperatures of 99.5 every night. Should I worry about cancer?

Don't worry about: Anything. Please do see your doc and share your concerns. Perhaps you have a low grade infection somewhere that he/she will help you get rid of. Please tell the doc about the weight change. Peace and good health. ...Read more

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Why weight loss in cancer patients what is it called?

Why weight loss in cancer patients what is it called?

Cachexia: Weight loss in patients with cancer is called cachexia. It is commonly due to chemicals called inflammatory cytokines that circulate in their bodies. One example is tnf Alpha (tumor necrosis factor), which is released by immune system cells. ...Read more

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Unexplained weight loss==is it always cancer or something bad?

Unexplained weight loss==is it always cancer or something bad?

Depends on health.: This is a nonspecific finding that can mean several things. It could be cancer, or diabetes, of infection, or something else. Hyperthyroidism can do it. It also can be due to metabolism pills for weight loss. Other symptoms, and findings can point to a cause. It would be wise to see your doctor to find an explanation. ...Read more

Dr. Cornelius O'leary jr
24 doctors shared insights

Lose Weight (Definition)

Many people resolve to lose weight in the New Year for different reasons. For those who are overweight or obese, there are many health benefits to losing weight. It can help decrease your chances of developing diseases including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, and even certain types of cancer. Low-calorie diets combined with increased physical activity are thought to be most effective long term. The healthiest weight loss regimen, therefore, is one that consists of making lifestyle changes that incorporate a balanced diet ...Read more


Dr. Barry Rosen
4,351 doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more