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Can Prostate Cancer Cause You To Lose Weight

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Does Weight Gain Occur After Menopause

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Weight gain after menopause. Its not just the weight a woman gains after age 18 that seems important to risk. The weight a woman gains after menopause also appears to be linked to an increased risk of breast cancer . One large study showed women who gained 20 pounds or more after menopause had an 18 percent higher risk

Maintaining Good Nutrition During And After Treatment

Maintaining a healthy diet can help you prepare for and recover after cancer treatment. It may also help to prevent the prostate cancer from coming back.Watching your weight may also reduce your risk of dying from prostate cancer. Recent studies have indicated that the risk of dying from prostate cancer is more than double in obese men diagnosed with the disease compared with men of normal weight at the time of diagnosis. Obese men with local or regional disease have been shown to have nearly four times the risk of their cancer spreading beyond the prostate or metastasizing.

Prostate cancer treatment may affect your appetite, eating habits, and weight, but it is important for you to maintain a healthy weight, get essential nutrients, and remain as physically active as possible. If you have difficulty eating due to side effects from treatment, there are ways to make eating more comfortable. Working with a registered dietitian/nutritionist can help make sure you are getting the nutrition you need.

Unfortunately it is possible for the side effects of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy to cause you to lose your appetite, eat less and lose weight. On the other hand, some treatments, such as androgen deprivation therapy may cause weight gain for some men.

, Prostate Cancer and Nutrition featuring Margaret Martin, RD, MS, LDN, a nutrition educator from PearlPoint Nutrition Services.

What Nutrients Are Most Important In Cancer

Good nutrition is all about getting the balance right – the balance of nutrients that a patients body needs to function well, to cope with treatment and to keep as active as possible. However, in cancer, some nutrients are particularly important:

  • Protein: important for building and repairing body cells, getting enough protein is important for cancer patients wanting to maintain or regain lean body mass. International guidelines recommend cancer patients consume almost twice the amount that a healthy person needs 10
  • Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: with anti-inflammatory properties, this nutrient can help stabilize or improve appetite, food intake, lean body mass and body weight10
  • Micronutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and trace elements: cancer patients often have micronutrient deficiencies due both to reduced food intake and the aggressive nature of some treatments11,12
  • Dietary fibre: essential to a balanced diet, cancer patients can benefit from consuming the right quality of fibre to improve stool consistency, especially those who are suffering from diarrhoea as a side effect of their radiotherapy or chemotherapy13

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Bladder And Urinary Troubles

A prostate tumor that has grown significantly in size may start to press on your bladder and urethra. The urethra is the passage the carries urine from your bladder out of your body. If the tumor is pressing on your urethra, you might have trouble passing urine.

One of the common areas for prostate cancer to spread to is the bladder, because the two organs are close. This can cause additional problems with urination and bladder function.

Some symptoms your bladder and urethra are being affected by cancer include:

  • urinating more frequently
  • getting up in the middle of the night to pee
  • feeling like you have to urinate often and not actually passing anything

Its not as common, but prostate cancer can also spread to your bowel. The cancer first spreads to the rectum, which is the part of your bowel closest to the prostate gland.

Symptoms of cancer thats spread to the bowels include:

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Surgical procedures to remove the diseased prostate are usually necessary. Surgical procedures are not always necessary. If the disease is caused by bacterial infections, a doctor can treat the symptoms using alpha-blockers or surgery. Physical therapy, relaxation exercises, and warm baths are all recommended. A physician may also prescribe antibiotics to cure the infection. A bacterial infection can also cause a recurrence of the condition.

An enlarged prostate can be uncomfortable for both men and women. Some of the symptoms of an enlarged male reproductive organ include a weakened urine stream, urgent need to urinate, and urinary tract infections. BPH can also cause damage to the kidneys. A sudden inability to urinate can be life-threatening, as it can lead to bladder and kidney damage. Unfortunately, most men with enlarged prostrates put up with the symptoms for years before they seek treatment. However, many of the men with symptoms finally decide to go to a doctor for proper gynecological evaluation and to begin enlarged prostatic therapy.

Health And Social Care Professionals You Might See

You might see a range of different professionals to help manage your symptoms and offer emotional and practical support. Some may have been treating you since your diagnosis. Others provide specific services or specialise in providing treatment to manage symptoms .

If you have questions or concerns at any time, speak to someone in your medical team. They can explain your diagnosis, treatment and side effects, listen to your concerns, and help you get support.

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Losing Weight Is Good For You

Thereâs no proven way to prevent prostate cancer. But exercise, a healthy diet, and a healthy weight may improve your overall health and lower your chance of problems.

Some studies point to following a healthy diet thatâs low in fat and rich in fruits and vegetables as a way to lower your cancer risk. When you exercise, you lower inflammation, boost your immune system, and ward off health problems. That may also lower your risk of cancer.

Weight Loss Associated With The Cancer Itself

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Why does cancer cause weight loss? What all types of cancer have in common are abnormal cells. These cancerous cells divide, proliferating and crowding out healthy cellsa process that taps into the bodys energy source, so you are burning more calories at rest.

About 40 percent of people with cancer say they experienced unexplained, unintentional weight loss leading up to their initial diagnosis, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The weight change that precedes a cancer diagnosis is typically a loss of 10 pounds or more, and it most often occurs with cancers that affect the following areas:

Sometimes, this weight loss isnt a direct result of the disease, but how it affects your desire to eat , eating habits and the way your body processes and absorbs food. These actions may lead to weight loss.

Appetite changes related to the disease itself may be brought on by:

  • A tumor in the abdominal area that interferes with digestion, stimulates a false sense of fullness, or makes swallowing food difficult.
  • Hormones produced by some types of tumors that alter the signaling process that tells you when you’re hungry.
  • Any emotional or physical side effects of cancersuch as pain, stress, depression, dehydration and nauseathat diminish your appetite.

Some types of cancer may make it difficult to swallow food, contributing to weight loss. This may be caused by:

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Should You Take Dietary Supplements For Prostate Cancer Maybe Not

One of the other developments in the last 5 to 10 years, says Dr. Chan, has been broader recognition that single supplements seem unlikely to offer a reduction in the risk of prostate cancer development.

She cites the large national Selenium and Vitamin ECancer Prevention Trial in 2008 and 2011, which provided no evidence that selenium or vitamin E supplements offer protection against the development of prostate cancer. And furthermore, in December 2014, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published results of a study from the UCSF describing a greater risk of death from prostate cancer in men who started taking selenium dietary supplements after being diagnosed with the disease.

The bottom line: Healthy, balanced, and heart-healthy meals consisting of whole foods are the way to go when cooking for a man with prostate cancer.

Additional reporting by Andrea Peirce

Certain Cancers Can Cause Significant Unexplained Weight Loss

Nearly everyone loses or gains weight at some point in their lifetime. Diet, exercise, pregnancy, hormonal changes and aging all can affect weight, and fluctuations are generally normal.

Unexplained weight loss, however, is not considered normal and may be a sign of a serious illness, such as cancer. In fact, weight loss can be both a symptom of cancer and a side effect of treatment or the illness itself.

Losing weight for no apparent reason does not mean you have cancer. The amount of weight lost matters. Losing a few pounds is not usually a concern, but a loss of 10 pounds or more without knowing why, may be a red flag. According to the American Cancer Society, significant weight loss happens most often with cancers that affect the stomach, pancreas, esophagus and lung.

For many people with cancer, this unexplained weight loss is one of the first indications of the disease, says Munveer Bhangoo, MD, a hematologist and oncologist at Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center. Someone who loses this amount of weight without a clear reason should see their physician to determine what is causing it.

Why does cancer cause weight loss?

Several factors can contribute to cancer-related weight loss. Cancer cells demand more energy than healthy cells, so your body may burn more calories at rest than it normally would. The cells also release substances that affect how your body uses calories from food, which also can contribute to weight loss.

Tips to help control weight loss

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Fighting Weight Gain From Hormone Therapy For Prostate Cancer

A powerful tool for fighting advanced prostate cancer is androgen deprivation therapy . ADT is a form of non-surgical treatment, where chemical castration is prescribed to eliminate testosterone in men with advanced prostate cancer, since the disease is fueled by this hormone. It is widely used and is so effective at halting the progress of the cancer that men are often treated with ADT for many years.

About 600,000 men with advanced prostate cancer in the United States are undergoing this type of anti-hormonal treatment.

The only problem with ADT is it can come with a cost. Suppressing the male hormone testosterone is effective for slowing or preventing prostate cancer growth. However, ADT often results in men losing muscle mass and strength while gaining more weight in the form of fat. This extra weight can place men at significant risk for chronic health problems including metabolic disorder, a precursor to diabetes and heart disease.

Slimming The Spare Tire

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So, what should you do to kick that beer belly to the curb? Lose weight in a healthy way, says Dr. Folefac. He recommends that people focus on a plant-based diet. Think grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, and other things that grow from the earth, and avoid processed foods, sugar, and fatty foods. If youre not a vegetarian, choose oily fish and lean meats like chicken breast. If you struggle to lose weight, he adds, talk to a doctor who specializes in obesity. Or consider joining an online weight loss support group.

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Radiotherapy To The Prostate

Some men who have just been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer may be offered external beam radiotherapy as part of their first treatment. This is where high-energy X-ray beams are directed at the prostate from outside the body. The X-ray beams damage the cancer cells and stop them from dividing and growing. Read more about radiotherapy for advanced prostate cancer.

Radiotherapy to the prostate isnt suitable for all men with advanced prostate cancer. If it isnt suitable for you, you might be offered a type of radiotherapy to help manage symptoms instead.

Investigating The Role Of Glucose On Cancer Progression

With the help of study participants like Asay, Hutch oncologist Wright and colleagues are interested in investigating the role of impaired glucose regulation â commonly associated with obesity â in the progression of prostate cancer. They hypothesize that keeping glucose levels in check through weight loss will slow the growth of the cancer and improve long-term survival.

The National Cancer Instituteâfunded study is in the process of enlisting 200 Seattle-area men â about half of whom so far, like Asay, have been veterans enrolled in the local VA. These men are a particularly relevant group to study, said Wright, a joint associate member of the Prostate Studies Group in the Public Health Sciences Division at Fred Hutch and an associate professor of urology at UW School of Medicine. Wright also cares for patients at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Fred Hutchâs clinical care partner, and the VA Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle.

âObesity and prostate cancer are both common diagnoses in older men,â he said, âbut in our veterans, the rates of these two diseases are even higher,â especially among those who served in the Vietnam War and were exposed to Agent Orange, an herbicide that has been linked to an increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer, among other malignancies.

Wrightâs father served a year in combat in the Vietnam War as an infantry soldier, he said, âmaking the importance of providing care to our veterans even more personal for me.â

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How Does Obesity Affect Cancer Survivors

Most of the evidence about obesity in cancer survivors comes from people who were diagnosed with breast, prostate, or colorectal cancer. Research indicates that obesity may worsen several aspects of cancer survivorship, including quality of life, cancer recurrence, cancer progression, prognosis , and risk of certain second primary cancers .

For example, obesity is associated with increased risks of treatment-related lymphedema in breast cancer survivors and of incontinence in prostate cancer survivors treated with radical prostatectomy . In a large clinical trial of patients with stage II and stage III rectal cancer, those with a higher baseline BMI had an increased risk of local recurrence . Death from multiple myeloma is 50% more likely for people with the highest levels of obesity compared with people at healthy weight .

When Should I See A Doctor

How dangerous is exercise during prostate cancer?

Most cases of unexplained weight loss arent caused by cancer. Still, its a good idea to follow up with your healthcare provider about any significant weight loss that cant be explained by changes in your diet or activity levels.

Generally, losing more than 5 percent of your body weight within 6 to 12 months warrants a visit. And if youre an older adult with other health issues, even a smaller amount of weight loss may be reason to see your healthcare provider.

Your provider will begin by taking your medical history, including any medications you are taking. Urine and blood tests, as well as imaging scans, can find signs of cancer or another condition that may be behind your weight loss.

Seek immediate treatment if your weight loss is accompanies by any of the following symptoms:

  • inability to swallow solids or liquids

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Soreness In The Groin Area

During late-stage prostate cancer, the cancerous cells often spread to the lymph nodes around the groin. When this happens, these lymph nodes can no longer drain fluid and function normally.

Many men experience soreness or sharp pain when cancer spreads to the groin area. This is often attributed to inflammation of the lymph nodes.

However, this soreness could be a sign of other issues. Its important to research mens health disordersand consult a medical professional if you experience soreness.

Never attempt to self-diagnose any of the symptoms you notice as this can only do more harm than good. Prostate cancer can significantly affect your life in many waysand diagnosing this health problem on your own can only aggravate the symptoms, and even expedite the growth and spread of tumors in your body.

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Can You Gain Weight With Steroids

You may also have a fullness of the neck or face . Loss of muscle makes weight gain more apparent. Women treated with steroids may also put on pounds, but the weight gain is usually seen only after weeks of continuous use. Some research suggests that weight gain is also related to lack of exercise . When you get your cancer treatment, its common

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New Insight On Weight Gain After Prostate Cancer Therapy

Study Shows Weight Gain After Hormone Therapy May Level Off After a Year of Treatment

March 14, 2011 — Many men with prostate cancer will get treatments to block male hormones like testosterone in an effort to keep their cancer from spreading.

There are several recognized side effects associated with those therapies, including hot flashes, loss of interest in sex, erectile dysfunction, bone loss, mood changes, and weight and body composition shifts. Body composition is a loss of muscle and bone mass with an increase in fat mass.

Now a new study shows that the weight gain — about 9 pounds, on average — associated with a form of hormone therapy called androgen deprivation therapy appears to level off after the first year of treatment. Itâs a finding that experts say is useful in helping doctors and patients who are trying to manage that extra girth, which studies have shown may increase the risks of diabetes and heart disease.

The studyâs researchers say the finding underscores the need for doctors to use these treatments, which include either surgical removal of the testes or drug therapy, conservatively.

âIâm using hormonal therapy a lot less than I was a few years ago because I do realize it is a very effective, albeit toxic therapy,â says study researcher Stephen J. Freedland, MD, associate professor at the Duke Prostate Center and a staff physician Veterans Affairs Medical Center, in Durham, N.C.

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