Weight during treatment

Since diagnosis, with a combination of treatment, stress, the heat all affecting my appetite and ability to chew/taste, I have lost 5kg and I didn’t exactly have 5kg to lose to begin with.

Im now teetering on an underweight BMI and struggling mentally and physically to eat and gain weight.

I wondered if there is a point where chemo could be stopped should my weight fall any further?

Also if there is a BMI cut off for surgery/DIEP reconstruction?

Thanks in advance 

Hi Crawfy  

Thanks for posting.  It sounds like a difficult time for you at present. 

A variety of things can lead to weight loss following a cancer diagnosis and as you say a combination of these may be a factor in the weight loss you have experienced.  Side effects of breast cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, may affect what you want to eat and drink and for some people changes to their usual routine can affect eating patterns. The anxiety and stress of a cancer diagnosis can also affect appetite causing some people to eat much less than normal as may be happening to you.  

If you have not already done so, we would suggest that you talk to your treatment team about your weight loss. Chemotherapy doses are usually worked out according to height and weight so your doses may need to be adjusted.  They may also refer you to a dietitian or prescribe high protein or high energy drinks. In the meantime, here are some tips to help with weight gain that may be helpful. 

The British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) indicate that people having breast reconstruction , such as a DIEP, that uses their own tissue (autologous) should have a BMI of less than 30.  You can discuss this further with your surgeon when you finish your chemotherapy, but your breast care nurse may have more information about what happens in your hospital.  

At times like this it can help to talk through how you are feeling.  We offer a range of free supportive services for anyone who has had a diagnosis of breast cancer which you may be interested in.  They include face to face and online courses and events.  

For more details about all of these services, please see the information on the link, or call our free helpline

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Breast Care Nurse   

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