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Weight loss can be a problem for many survivors. This usually depends on the type of cancer and treatment. It is important to get to a healthy weight so you can:

  • Have more energy
  • Feel better
  • Enjoy your life more

 

Causes

One possible cause of weight loss is the cancer itself. Cancer can change the way the body uses protein and calories, which sometimes leads to weight loss. 

Cancer treatments can also cause weight loss, especially when they affect the digestive system. Side effects such as nausea, vomiting, mouth sores, swallowing difficulties or taste changes can affect your ability to eat, which can lead to weight loss.

Other side effects from cancer and its treatment may include pain, depression and fatigue. These can reduce your appetite, cause you to eat less and result in weight loss. These side effects may be short term and get better over time. Sometimes they can last long after treatment is finished. 

 

What you can do

If you have finished your treatment and are still losing weight, talk to your doctor about what a healthy weight is for you at your follow-up appointment. Ask your doctor how to reach the weight that is best for you. You and your doctor can work together to control some side effects of cancer that make you lose weight.

You can read more about how to manage weight loss in "Managing Weight Loss after Cancer Treatment" [PDF, opens in new window] »

If you would like to attend or view classes online around healthy eating, see the Princess Margaret’s calendar of events. See the Princess Margaret Calendar of Events »

 

More information

 

Last reviewed: 1/4/2018
Last modified: 1/2/2019 6:18 AM