HomeHealthCan cancer cause weight gain?

Can cancer cause weight gain?

Weight fluctuations are frequent during cancer therapy. In general, people anticipate weight loss more than weight gain. The change itself may feel like a reminder of your struggles. You might also notice that your shape has changed, with your muscles losing bulk or your waistline expanding.

Some weight changes are regular and shouldn’t raise any red flags. There may be brief alterations while you receive therapy, but they should resolve themselves after treatment. However, if you’re significantly changing your weight, either up or down, it can feel alarming and should be discussed with your medical team. You can consult with a doctor at the Kokilaben Hospital Mumbai through the Credihealth website.

Which cancer therapies can make you gain weight?

Weight gain can result from several cancer therapies, including chemotherapy, steroid therapy, and hormone therapy.

  1. Chemotherapy

Drugs are used in chemotherapy to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy may cause weight gain through:

  • Causing edema, the condition where the body retains too much fluid.
  • Resulting in weariness, making exercise more challenging.
  • Increasing nausea that gets better after eating more.
  • Causing severe food cravings.
  • The rate at which the body utilizes energy is called metabolism. You burn fewer calories when your metabolism is poor, which can lead to weight gain.
  • Resulting in menopause, which also causes your metabolism to slow down.
  • Steroid drugs

For several reasons, steroids are administered during cancer treatment. This kind of drug can lessen the discomfort and swelling associated with inflammation. They can help with nausea. They can also be used to treat cancer, such as in the case of multiple myeloma.

Weight gain is a typical steroid adverse effect. Weight gain from steroids can be caused by

  • Making you feel more hungry and eating more.
  • Wasting is the loss of muscular mass.
  • With continued use, fat tissue may accumulate in the face, neck, abdomen, or other places.
  • Resulting in menopause, which also causes your metabolism to slow down.
  • Hormone treatment

Certain cancers, such as breast, prostate, testicular, and uterine, may be treated with hormonal therapy. This drug can lower estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone levels, among other hormones. The body uses hormones for a variety of purposes. Low hormone levels can lead to increased body fat, a loss of muscle mass, and difficulty burning calories.

What can be done to control weight gain while receiving cancer treatment?

Several people will put on weight while receiving cancer treatment. Patients may gain weight during cancer therapy for a variety of reasons. During cancer treatment, some people might become less physically active.

Others might be prescribed drugs that alter their metabolism. This is particularly valid for those receiving breast or prostate cancer treatment. Steroids and other weight-gaining drugs are sometimes prescribed as a part of a therapeutic regimen.

Speak with a medical team member before beginning any diet or altering your eating routine. They can offer dietary recommendations or a particular diet plan.

Following are some general tips to control weight gain while receiving cancer treatment:

  • Inform your medical provider if you begin to gain a lot of weight during treatment or after it is over. They can assist in determining whether it is an anticipated side effect or a novel symptom that requires further research.
  • It can be frustrating and demoralizing to diet and exercise while receiving treatment. You may not have much energy, and it’s not always the most significant moment to consciously try to reduce weight.
  • Until you finish your treatment, which may include chemotherapy and radiotherapy, your main priorities may be eating healthfully, getting lots of rest, and doing light exercise.
  • Fluid retention may occasionally be the cause of your weight increase. Discuss this with your medical staff, especially if you observe swollen ankles, wrists, limbs, or the abdomen. There may be treatments for the swelling, including drugs and other options.
  • Consume a balanced diet high in whole grains, protein, and vegetables.
  • You may be unable to eat foods high in fiber if your cancer treatments occasionally cause long-term effects on your intestines and digestion. Ask your medical provider for particular dietary guidance if this is a concern.
  • Consider increasing your exercise and physical activity as you heal from cancer treatment. For instance, gardening, cycling, and walking can all be helpful.
  • As a cancer survivor, aiming for 150 minutes of exercise per week and performing strength training activities twice or thrice weekly is good. Instead of going too far, exercise in short bursts. To be sure it is okay to do so, check with your doctor or healthcare team.


Speak to your doctor if weight loss or increase is a new symptom, and express your worries.  Weight issues can affect a person physically as well as emotionally. Ask for more assistance if you notice that your mood has been impacted or if the physical changes are causing you to feel nervous or depressed. Your general practitioner and medical staff can recommend a nutritionist and provide you with counseling services. 

Fluid retention may be the issue if you’re gaining weight, your limbs are growing puffy, and your mobility is becoming more limited. Be sure to seek medical attention for this condition since you could require additional symptom treatment and support. For more information, you can consult a doctor at the Kokilaben Hospital Mumbai through the Credihealth website.

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