• I was diagnosed one year ago with throat cancer, squamous cell carcenoma, stage 2. Started radiation treatment 6 weeks later. Since then I have lost over 70 pounds and still losing. (From 191 lbs to 120) I would appreciate any tips on how to stop the

    Asked by WesMallory on Monday, December 10, 2012

    I was diagnosed one year ago with throat cancer, squamous cell carcenoma, stage 2. Started radiation treatment 6 weeks later. Since then I have lost over 70 pounds and still losing. (From 191 lbs to 120) I would appreciate any tips on how to stop the

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Ask your oncologist to refer you to a nutritionist or registered dietitian expereinced in working with cancer patients.

      almost 4 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar
      FreeBird (Best Answer!)

      Hi WesMallory. Are you able to eat at all? Here is some basic information on nutrition and cancer:


      There are several ways to get nutrition into the body if you are unable to eat at all. The common one for people who are unable to eat all the time because of issues with their throat is a g-tube or gastrostomy tube that is just a tube that goes directly to your stomach to deliver nutrition.

      The body can use some extra nutrition when you're treating cancer. However, if you're eating normally and making use of extra nutritional drinks, and feel like you're doing everything right, sometimes people with cancer will still continue to lose weight. In that case, it's important to talk with your doctor about that. Anorexia is where you're not eating. There is something called "cachexia" (kuh kex eee uh) where people with cancer can eat and eat and eat, but keep losing. In reality though, you may not be eating as much as you think you are. Maybe start keeping a food diary to keep track of how much food is going in for a couple weeks. This is a tool that dietitians often use to assess a diet.

      After your doctor, the National Cancer Institute www.cancer.gov is a good resource for asking questions. The American Cancer Society www.cancer.org also has a phone number you can call to ask questions. You might look into their "dietitian on call" program to see what that's all about if they can offer nutrition tips http://www.cancer.org/myacs/southatlantic/programsandservices/dietitian-on-call

      almost 4 years ago
    • Queen_Tatiana's Avatar

      My husband (Peroll) has colon cancer which has mets to his throat and has lost quite a bit of weight, but more from the radiation and chemo than the cancer itself. I suggest you speak with your oncologist for a referral with the dietician who works with cancer patients at your hospital.

      I do not have cancer, but a few years ago became very ill and lost a lot of weight in a very short period of time and was eventually placed on a pic-line feeding tube to get nutrition into me.

      almost 4 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      Mr. Wes, I had Head and Neck, (tonsil) had the tonsil taken out, couldn't eat then, and a month later had a radical neck disection, and another margin cut out around the previous tonsil removal just to be sure, followed by radiation. All of those left me unable to eat. I had such sores in my throat that I had to get some mouthwash from the doctor that would numb me for a few and allow me to swallow. I survived off of what ever I could get down. Lots of ice cream and ensure/ice cream shakes. I knew I was going to loose weight going in, since it was my third time, so I cheated, I started eating anything that wasn't nailed down before I went in. I gained about 20 # before I started, I still lost 45-50# in the end.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Nomadicme's Avatar

      My friend's dad had esophageal and had the same issue with food. As it is very common with what you're dealing with, asking your onc nurse could help. If it's a case of not tolerating certain foods I can tell you ice cream was my major food group during chemo. I was also able to tolerate apple sauce and bananas. A friend that had issues because of radiation told me mashed potatoes were her life line.
      For laughs...I wish my fat arse could experience some of that weight loss ;)

      almost 4 years ago
    • packerbacker's Avatar

      Are you able to eat at all? Is your throat that painful? Have they mentioned a PEG tube? You should definitely speak to your doctor about a consult to a nutritionist or dietician regarding diet. Take in as many supplements as you can. I drink Scandi-shakes, which are 600 calorie shakes to help build you up, it's like Ensure. I hope you get the help you need, because you need all your strength and then some to fight this disease! Best of luck to you on your journey!

      almost 4 years ago
    • Thanks4Mayo's Avatar

      I had tongue and neck cancer, and couldn't eat throughout treatment (and beyond). My oncologist suggested Scandi Shakes (available at Walgreen's and other drug stores). They pack 800 calories, are easy to get down and taste pretty good. Three of those a day and you'll stop the weight loss. I leveled off at a loss of 65 pounds.

      almost 4 years ago

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