Steps toward Conquering Cachexia
by Egidio Del Fabbro, MD
The term cachexia refers to a specific condition characterized by involuntary weight loss, poor appetite, and muscle wasting. It is important to note that cachexia is quite different from starvation. Consuming more calories will not reverse the loss of muscle and fat. And unlike starvation, which is always accompanied by an increased appetite, people with cachexia often have a poor appetite despite weight loss.
How Cancer Affects Your Bones
by Huifang Lu, MD, PhD, and Xerxes Pundole, MD, MPH
Healthy bones are important throughout your life. Bones aid movement, support the body, protect organs, produce red and white blood cells, and store minerals. Bone is a dynamic tissue that is constantly reabsorbing bone material and using it to regenerate itself. When bone mass is lost faster than it can be replaced, bones become thin and porous, and osteoporosis (a condition that makes bones more likely to crumble) can develop.
Are You at Risk for Lymphedema?
The lymph system is a network of lymph vessels, tissues, and organs that carry lymph, a clear fluid that contains lymphocytes (white blood cells) and plasma, throughout the body. Lymphedema occurs when the lymph system is damaged or blocked. Fluid builds up in soft body tissues and causes swelling. Lymphedema usually affects an arm or leg, but it can also affect other parts of the body.
Clearing the Haze of Chemo Brain
by Teri Simoneau, PhD
Changes in thinking, memory, and attention following chemotherapy treatment are quite common. Studies estimate that these cognitive effects, sometimes called chemo brain, occur in one out of every two to five people who receive chemotherapy. People who experience chemo brain report poor short-term memory, slower information processing, difficulty multitasking, and problems finding the right words when talking.
Your Skin Care Questions Answered
by Mario E. Lacouture, MD
A survey of cancer survivors showed that 67 percent did not expect skin problems to occur prior to treatment. But once they finished their treatment, skin irritation and dry skin were reported as the most common side effects. Since most anticancer treatments work by destroying rapidly growing cancer cells, healthy skin cells will also be affected.
Prepare, Prevent & Protect
People with cancer who are treated with chemotherapy are more likely to get infections through everyday activities or from healthcare settings. One out of every ten people with cancer who receives chemotherapy gets an infection that requires a hospital visit.
Get Relief from Gastrointestinal Side Effects
by Marie Morande, RD, CSO, LD
While cancer treatments affect everyone differently, radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery all pose potential side effects. Cancer treatment can affect your body’s ability to absorb food, reduce how much you enjoy food, and cause disruptive gastrointestinal issues. Common gastrointestinal side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and sore mouth or throat.
Take Control of Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathy
by Cindy Tofthagen, PhD, ARNP
Neuropathy is a common side effect of many chemotherapy drugs. Scientists are looking for ways to prevent chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, but until a solution is found, you can manage this side effect with help from members of your healthcare team.