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All TopicsForum: Radiation Therapy - Before, During and After → Topic: Radiation and Weight Loss

Topic: Radiation and Weight Loss

Forum: Radiation Therapy - Before, During and After — What to expect from treatment and ways to cope with side effects.

Posted on: Sep 4, 2011 06:07PM

mary7 wrote:

I'm not sure where I saw this, but is it true that the RO's are very adamant you don't lose weight while going through radiation.  Does it really make that big a difference, and do they weigh you? I would really like to get a head start on weight loss before I start on the Tamoxifen and I'm already 20 to 30 pounds overweight. I will start radiation in about 6 weeks.

God Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the differnce. Dx 3/28/2011, IDC, 1cm, Grade 2, 8/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 4, 2011 07:18PM Claire_in_Seattle wrote:

I did lose a bit of weight during radiation, but not more than a couple of pounds.  I was cycling too, so this may not be the norm.  By "cycling", I mean 20-30 mile training rides 2x per week.

They weighed me weekly.

The big thing to watch out for is conversion of lean muscle to fat which makes you more apt to gain weight.  This often happens during chemo (because most patients don't get much exercise).  However, the effects aren't seen until later.

So, if you can do some sort of aerobic and also toning exercise, you will be ahead of this curve.

Good luck.

Completed all treatment (AC +T, lumpectomy, radiation and 5 years of AIs - anastrazole). Now celebrating every single day for the wonderful life I have been granted. Dx 8/2009, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH)
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Sep 4, 2011 07:26PM , edited Sep 4, 2011 07:27PM by Sherryc

I lost about 12 lbs during radiation.  They don't want you loosing a ton of weight because it will mess with the plan that they make for you.  They have some give in the plan but if you go over the % they will have to recalulate your radiation.  I am small and 12 lbs was quiet a bit but still within my range.  You might want to ask your RO how much is safe after your simulation.  They really do not want you dieting. I had dieted before radiation but during radiation it just fell off of me. They say eat lots of protein.

Sherry--lump left breast 9/30/10. No chemo, Zometa-6tx over 3 years.Oncotype score 23 with 14% recurrence rate. 34 rads. No family history, BRCA neg. 48 years old @ diagn. BMX/TE 3/26/2012, Exchange surgery 8/21/12, Revision surgery 11/27/12 Surgery 5/11/1997 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/29/2010 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Left Radiation Therapy 12/2/2010 Hormonal Therapy 2/6/2011 Surgery 11/2/2011 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 3/25/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 8/20/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 11/26/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Sep 5, 2011 06:53PM Outfield wrote:

I got weighed all the time and had to see a Nutritionist when they thought I might be losing, but it was mainly because I had lost a lot of weight during chemo and was skinny.  But how much tissue there is make a big difference in how they plan out the radiation, so it's easy to see how they wouldn't want someone changing much for that reason during treatment.  You don't want the maximum dose going somewhere other than the layer at risk.

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Sep 5, 2011 10:07PM , edited Sep 5, 2011 10:09PM by GmaFoley

The reason for not losing weight during radiation is because your body is in healing mode and if you lose weight it comes off muscle not fat... In the June2011 rads forum toward the bottom of  page 1, I have the information my nutritionist gave me.....I bumped it up for you..
Imagine God in His HUGE rocking chair, rocking you and saying, "It will be ok, you can do it. I will be right here for you". Oncotype score: 8, Rads 28, Bilateral arm, truncal LE and now Obstructive Sleep Apnea Dx 4/19/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 7, 2011 06:48PM lisaemma wrote:

I was actually told to eat caloric foods during radiation so that it would help keep up my energy and fight fatigue.  Only two weeks left and I feel great.  I know the fatigue might be coming, but so far so good!

Lisa Dx 6/10/2011, DCIS, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Nov 13, 2011 01:32PM truebff wrote:

I am 11 treatments in and am losing weight. I have no appetite and feel sick and weird from the radiation. In my case, I am small and thin on top so it probably won't change things.

The nutritionist told me that each treatment is like running a marathon that will catch up to you and you need all your energy to rebuild your cells each day.

 But so far, they have not been worried about it.

Dx 7/13/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 22, 2011 04:51AM Mandalala wrote:

What about gaining weight? I lost a lot of weight before I started radiation, because of Tamoxifen SE. First, I had trouble not losing more, but now I am well on my way to my original weight ... which is good, but is it a problem during radiation? I have gained 2 kilos so far and maybe it will be one or two more. I feel that I need the nutrition.

Dx 9/13/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 22, 2011 05:49PM Lindissima wrote:

I was definitely told not to lose too much.  I don't remember the exact amount--check with your RO.

I found i definitely had to eat more because the weight started coming off easily.  (First time ever) 

Dx 1/5/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 22, 2011 10:44PM coraleliz wrote:

I was told to increase my intake, with the emphasis being on high protein foods. I tried, but my weight stayed the same. I'm thin so I thought they just didn't want me to lose?? Not sure what would have happened if I gained. Would the settings on the machine still have been good?

Dx 2/28/2011, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/15/2011, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 2/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/15/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Left, Right