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  • Writer's pictureCheryl Hoover

Weight Gain During Cancer Treatment - by Cheryl Hoover

Weight gain is a common concern for patients undergoing cancer treatment. In this blog, Cheryl Hoover talks about ways to manage it.

Cheryl Hoover is a nutrition coach at The After Cancer.

During cancer treatment you may experience difficulty in maintaining your weight. Some people lose weight and some people gain weight, this post will address the weight gain associated with treatment.

What is it?

Slight increases in weight during cancer treatment are usually not a problem and can sometimes be as simple as fluid retention, which will reverse after treatment. However, too much weight gain during treatment is linked to a poorer chance of recovery and also increases the risk of other health problems.

Why does it happen?

Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, steroid treatment, and hormonal treatment can lead to weight gain in different ways.


  • Can causes Fatigue, making it harder to exercise.

  • Can cause Edema, where the body holds on to excess fluid.

  • Can cause Nausea, which may be relieved by eating more food.

  • Can lower Metabolism, causing your body to burn less calories.

  • Can cause Menopause, also slowing down your metabolism.

Steroid Therapy:

  • Can cause an increase in your appetite.

  • Can cause decrease in muscle mass.

  • Can cause increase in fat tissue with long term use.

Hormonal Therapy:

How to manage it?

The good news is that there are definitely steps you can take to decrease the amount of weight gained during treatment.

First, try to nourish your body with plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and avoid man made processed foods and sugar. The processed foods lack fiber and nutrients that your body needs and in fact cause you to overeat instead because you don’t feel full when you eat them. Essentially they are empty calories that you end up over consuming.

Second, try to get regular exercise with an activity that you love to increase your metabolism and burn more calories. Try walking, biking, yoga or other strength building exercises. Just pick something you would look forward to even if you are tired and not feeling 100%.

We are glad you read this blog post to the end. Let us know how we can best help on your cancer journey. We at The After Cancer are here for You!


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