Tag Archives: Weight Gain

Weight Gain with Breast Cancer is Not Uncommon – What to Do

Not Everyone Looses Weight
Not Everyone Looses Weight

Weight loss is a common stereotype of cancer diagnosis and treatment. If you are dealing with breast cancer, it’s not unusual to actually gain weight. Factors such as personal and financial stress and the disruption of physical activity all play a part, but there are physiological reasons as well.

Effects of chemotherapy and hormonal therapy

Some people have a natural tendency to gain weight when treated with chemotherapy and steroids. The cause can be indirect if treatment causes you to enter menopause, which can also trigger weight gain.

An enzyme known as LPL controls the transfer of fat between cells in your body. Estrogen suppresses this LPL activity with fat cells. If your hormone levels drop due to cancer treatment, LPL is able to pull more fat into the fat cells where it is stored instead of burned.

Tips for maintaining a healthy weight

While weight control is important under any circumstances, being overweight can increase the risk of cancer recurrence, providing another vital reason. Here are some principles to consider when developing a healthy eating plan.

  • Basic mathematics still apply. If you burn more calories than you consume each day, your weight will go down.
  • However, all calories are not created equal. A 1,200-calorie-a-day diet consisting of sweets and high-fat foods is not going to do the trick. The same amount of calories consumed in fruits, vegetables and lean protein is a nutritionally sound way to lose weight.
  • Keep insulin levels steady by eating small amounts of low-carbohydrate foods throughout the day.

Our natural immuno-oncology treatment is designed with your personal needs in mind. Visit our website to learn more.

Ten Herbs and Vitamins to Steer Clear of While in Chemo or Radiation

What Not To Get During Chemo
What Not To Get During Chemo

Herbs and other supplements can provide an added boost for patients with cancer. In many cases, alternative cancer therapies can succeed where standard therapies have failed.

However, in some cases, complementary medicines that are recommended for some patients can actually have adverse effects on certain other patients. An herb may be excellent for one form of cancer and hazardous for another. In all cases, patients should confirm recommendations with a doctor before taking supplements.

These products may not be prescription drugs, but they do have a powerful ability to interact with chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and anti-cancer medicines.

Below are common supplements with anti-cancer properties that may also cause serious problems if taken during other treatments. Consult the American Cancer Society website or other trusted sources for a helpful guide to vitamins, minerals, and herbal medicines.

1. Fish oil: May induce bleeding if you have a low platelet count.

2. Ginger: Also may induce bleeding.

3. Turmeric: Could decrease the effectiveness of chemotherapy — or increase the effects, with toxic results.

4. Coenzyme Q10: Antioxidant properties may interfere with chemotherapy and radiation.

5. Milk thistle: May affect estrogen levels, which could pose an issue for breast or ovarian cancer.

6. Licorice: Also may affect estrogen levels.

7. Green tea: Negates the benefits of certain anti-cancer drugs.

8. Reishi mushroom: May interfere with certain drugs or chemotherapy.

9. Astragalus: May interfere with certain immunosuppressants.

10. Acidophilus: May cause infections or other problems if taken during chemotherapy.

Despite the risks for some patients, these substances do have successful results for many people. Issels® Integrative Immuno-Oncology can always help with information about alternative cancer treatment.