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Been told my outcome will be greatly reduced because I’m overweight

13 REPLIES 13
Drummerswidow
Member

Re: Been told my outcome will be greatly reduced because I’m overweight

My Breast cancer nurse said much the same. Her words were let’s get you through the chemo first!
Drummerswidow
Member

Re: Been told my outcome will be greatly reduced because I’m overweight

👍
ann-m
Community Champion

Re: Been told my outcome will be greatly reduced because I’m overweight

Hi Drummerswidow,
Sometimes professionals do not communicate as well as they should & of course, there are times when we feel more vulnerable & so it’s difficult when these two things collide. However, that was certainly not helpful.
I remember being told by the onc not to gain weight & everything else in moderation on being discharged.
The most important thing is getting through treatment, there’s plenty of time later to address any issues as you wish to & as you see fit, without any guilt attached!
When it comes down to it, yes there’s risk factors, but as has already been said, anyone can be affected by this anyway.
ann x
Jobey68
Member

Re: Been told my outcome will be greatly reduced because I’m overweight

All your fight is aimed at dealing with a cancer diagnosis and you shouldn't have to be justifying yourself to anyone. 

Ironically my very lovely Oncologist was a large lady, so that would have been an interesting conversation! 

She asked if I drank, pre diagnosis I said maybe a bottle of wine a week, right now about a bottle a night!

Her reply was totally understandable my dear! Xx 

Charys
Community Champion

Re: Been told my outcome will be greatly reduced because I’m overweight

I was going to add, this doesn't mean the treatment plan is affected, I think they are referring to the future and minimising risk there.

 

Like Jobey, I don't buy the 'guilt/you have contributed to this/can stop it' mindset.

Drummerswidow
Member

Re: Been told my outcome will be greatly reduced because I’m overweight

Thank you Jobey68. I have spoken with my MacMillan nurse and she has said the same thing. Normally I fight back but my fight seems to have up sticks and left me st the moment. I’m concentrating on getting through my chemo for the moment . Xx

Charys
Community Champion

Re: Been told my outcome will be greatly reduced because I’m overweight

Hiyer Drummerswidow,

 

It does seem that there are times and ways to say things, and clearly this was said to you at a time that you felt already low and in a way that was very 'upfront' and lacking sensitivity. There is no doubt that being very overweight or obese has been identified as a risk factor, but then so have others things like inactivity, smoking, drinking and hormone levels amongst other things. In percentage terms a small number are considered to be obsese and develop breast cancer as their contributing factor, but getting 'risk factors' in perspective is important too. Personally, and I know this is just annecdotal, I had none of the associated risk factors (not over weight, non-drinker, non-smoker, under the age of menopause, active and well....I guess don't know about my hormones.) To my mind risk factors being minimised are just doing what you can within moderation, and not being too obsessive about it, but there are no guarantees in either direction. I think I might have had an 'over weight' talk too, if I had have been, as my surgeon said 'its not like you are even overweight, some women who are diagnosed.....' and it sounded like she would have been quite prepared to continue down the weight route if she felt it necessary. 

 

The main risk factor for bc is  however 'older age' and aging cells - hmmm, can't do much about that one can we. LOL I suspect the medic you talk of was trying to 'help' and discuss risk factors, notably weight, but highlighting one very obvious thing (weight) doesn't take into account all the other factors and it would have been received by you (and ANYBODY) better if they had just done an 'after your treatment these are the things to focus on' type of talk.After all, theres not a massive amount you can do immediately and you are struggling with your diagnosis at the moment also.

 

It'll all become less upsetting and raw as time goes on x

Jobey68
Member

Re: Been told my outcome will be greatly reduced because I’m overweight

I think it was very rude and insensitive of your Oncologist to make such a comment to you. losing weight is the last thing you need to be worrying about right now! 

 

Although being as healthy as we can will of course have its benefits ive never bought in to the you've got cancer due to doing X Y and Z, quite frankly that attitude drives me nuts!

We don't do this to ourselves, We are all different shapes and sizes, come from different back grounds and follow different diets but we all have breast cancer in common.

 

I was slim, a non smoker, a couple of glasses of wine a week drinker, ate a healthy diet and walked miles every day with the dog but I still got breast Cancer, now adays I deny myself nothing.

 

Try not to dwell on it, focus on getting through treatment, that's what is important right now. Xx Jo 

Drummerswidow
Member

Re: Been told my outcome will be greatly reduced because I’m overweight

Hi Kathy’s. There is no way that I am a ‘passive recipient of treatment ‘ thank you. I am pleased that you have lost 3 stone in weight. My objection is possible the timing of the Consultant’s comments. A kicking whilst someone is already down. I’m also well aware of fat cells being the bad guys.
kathyx
Member

Re: Been told my outcome will be greatly reduced because I’m overweight

I've lost 3 stone since starting chemo in May and I can't imagine anybody putting weight on.

 

Drummerswidow, I don't think you should equate "greatly reduced " with "not going to do any good" as they're quite different. Unfortunately, being overweight is one of the major risk categories for developing breast cancer and, if you're ER+, fat cells are the villains when it comes to producing oestrogen.

 

I think you have to accept that you have an active role to play in dealing with cancer rather than just being a passive recipient of treatment. I say that as someone who was cancer free for 30 years but now look back and accept that my lifestyle in the intervening years (very overweight, heavy drinker, unhealthy diet) are largely resonsible for my current situation. 

 

Look at it that changing your lifestyle and diet is about your taking control and being responsible for improving your chances of success rather than just hoping for the best.

 

Good luck.

SallyG63
Member

Re: Been told my outcome will be greatly reduced because I’m overweight

Hi, weight loss or gain during chemo isn't a given. Mine didn't change at all throughout mine. I had no sickness or loss of appetite at all. The steroids can make you put on weight but I got my oncologist to halve mine as they messed up my blood sugars too much so that probably helped.
Drummerswidow
Member

Re: Been told my outcome will be greatly reduced because I’m overweight

Hi Wahini. I’m afraid I am taking it personally as it was the way in which it was said. Also my breast nurse has told me I’m likely to put a stone on in weight during my chemo. NOT helpful! I’m dealing with all of this on my own so feeling pretty p’d off and low at the moment. 

Wahini
Member

Re: Been told my outcome will be greatly reduced because I’m overweight

I have only been told that being slim helps my recovery a lot, they say that every time I see someone so it must be important. Also not smoking.

 

Don't you think you will loose weight automatically during chemo? I have zero appetite and can only drink sips of water and eat bits of fruit. I love alcohol, for example a nutritious Guinness, but the thought of it makes me puke.

 

Don't take it personally Drummerswidow, they are just trying to help.

Drummerswidow
Member

Been told my outcome will be greatly reduced because I’m overweight

I’m having chemo. Had my first cycle and not doing too bad all things considering.

 

i saw my Oncologist last week expecting to talk about the chemo but was told I really needed to loose weight as my outcome following all the chemo and radiotherapy would be greatly reduced. I was shocked. What’s the point of going through all the treatment and it’s not going to do any good. She was also looking to refer me for exercises at the gym. Feeling very fed up.

 

Anyone else been told this?