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weight gain?

Posts: 43
Joined: Apr 2009

do you always gain weight with treatment? I am worried about this since i am over weight to begin with.

hodgkoid2003's picture
Posts: 94
Joined: Apr 2009

I believe weight gain or loss will depend on the type of treatment used. For instance, I lost weight going through radiation, but GAINED 50 pounds in 8 months during my chemo. The culprit was the prednisone which made me retain, but also eat like crazy. I remember back then, people being amazed that you could gain weight from chemo (rather than the stereotypical picture).

Paul E., (Hodgkoid2003)

dixiegirl's picture
Posts: 1043
Joined: Apr 2006

I hear you...I gained 30 pounds during chemo. I did CVP + Rituxan. Dang prednisone had me eating everything not tied down. I did radiation when it came back and still didn't lose anything of what I gained. In remission now and still having trouble with not losing anything, but I am HEALTHY.

Some people DO lose with treatment. It's all very personal and discipline is key. Eat when you need to, sleep when you need to, and drink LOTS of water.

It'll be ok.

theresa713's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2009

I am so glad to know i am not crazy! When i did my treatments last year i put on almost 50lbs and i kept thinking dont people usually end up losing weight not gaining.. as if having cancer wasnt bad enough!

blueroses's picture
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

Cancer itself can make you lose weight but its the treatments that will put weight on for sure, depending on what drugs you are on of course - not all of them will make you gain weight. Fluid retention is a big issue with some drugs and that of course makes you bloated and appear heavier too. I went to Weight Watchers before I was diagnosed with NHL and lost 40 lbs in no time. I went back after going through alot of treatments and couldn't lose the weight for love or money - it was really difficult because I needed to lose about 30 lbs - the drugs side effects (the drugs I was on after all treatments ended that is - ones I will have for the rest of my life like heart medications and stuff) included weight gain so I was fighting a losing battle with weight loss. I don't know how many drugs you are on now but that can also be part of the problem -medications after all treatment stops.

I remember having heart issues way back after treatments ended and knowing that they were linked to some of the chemo drugs but the docs looked at me as if I was crazy too but now they opened admit it was one of the drugs I had that caused my heart damage. Similarily there are many other long term effects of the treatment that only now they are realizing causes damage. You win some you lose some often in the cancer experience.

I guess all we can do is eat well and maitain a healthy diet and excercise and maybe some of the weight will go away. Some people call our new states after treatments 'the new normal' so possibly having some of those extra pounds may have to just be part of that.

All the best and hope today is a good day for you. Blessings, Blueroses

crhall000's picture
Posts: 11
Joined: Jun 2010

Thats my story, I am gaining weight while on treatment, and I think about what's for breakfast, while I am laying in bed for the night. I like the weight in my face, but not the gut. I hope that all of the working out is holding some of the fat away.

winthefight's picture
Posts: 162
Joined: Dec 2007

Hi bk,

I too gained weight when in treatment. I was on both predisone(during R-Chop) and decadron (on R-Chop and RICE/DICE 4 times a week). Isn't it surprising that you can actually gain weight instead of losing??

I understand your concerns about gaining weight during treatment. I have always been full sized. I finally started losing weight (through Weight Watchers too), and was shortly diagnosed with NHL. Speak with your doctor about your concerns. Perhaps he/she will refer you to a dietician to recommend healthy choices. I must agree with others here, steriods had me eating everthing in site too! But, I also made bad choices. I had cake, chocolate candy, and ice cream and anything I wanted because it was easy and accessable.

So, try to make healthy choices and don't sweat it if you do gain weight. The most important things are that you eat, drink fluids to flush the chemo chemicals, and focus on your health.

You will be just fine.

Posts: 43
Joined: Apr 2009

dear winthefight, thank you for you kind words of encouragment. bk1950

Posts: 3
Joined: May 2009

bk1950, I too was a bit over weight before and was loosing it fast before treatments started that was nice, but about half way through treatments,(ABVD) I started to gain it back and then with the prednsone they gave me for complications I started to gain more then before. I am now cancer free and off of all meds and am walking/running 2 miles a day and starting to slimm down!

So hang in there the weight will be a yo-yo for a while but just eat right and try to get moving as often as you can. Right now the battle is with the cancer- after that is beaten you can battle the weight.

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2009

I was 25 when i started treatments for type 2a hodgkins and was in great shape. I have done good through my treatment, didnt get sick, didnt lose any hair and didnt stop working or doing normal activities but I gained over 60 pounds. I am done with treatments, and started excersising as my dr has said it was ok to do. after 60 days of doing eating right and running, cardio, yoga, etc ( i mixed it up everyday)i havent lost a pound or inches. instead i have breathing trouble, coughing,and my body starts spasming (like a vibration running up and down my body). has anyone else experienced this? how long before i start losing weight?

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2009

Wow, it is so good to hear that I am not the only one frustrated with this weight gain crap! I have always been a slim guy and was blessed with a metabolism faster that a roadrunner up until NHL and chemo. Thanks to prednisone. I started out with NHL at a athletic 171 lbs and am now 6 lbs shy of 200 all within year of starting chemo. I havn't dieted but have truly lowered my food intake. I never had to worry what I ate. I no longer eat that half gallon of ice cream in a two day period. Now I don't eat it at all and I have raw fruit for dessert. Most of my weight has gathered at the waist section and my thighs are thick. Fortunately I don't look over weight but I am, and I am flabby. I feel like I get mixed information from my onocologist and my primary care doctor. My primay care doc says it is the predisone that causes the pear shape and that it takes about a year for it to go away after treatment but my onocologist says it is just my metabolism changing cause I am getting older. I dont' buy that. Putting on 35 lbs+ in a year is alittle much considering my eating habits have improved rather that worsened. I also have noticed that my joints ache after a long run now. I am lucky, happy, and healthy though and thankful to be in remission. Thanks for sharing your stories and hopefully we will all see some lost weight soon.

Lelah_77's picture
Posts: 8
Joined: Jun 2009

I am on the RCHOP, so I am also doing the Prednisone and it makes me want to eat house and home ~ but I am and always have been a conscientious eater... so far (2 months into treatments) I have maintained my weight. I have been "grazing" to stave of the ravenous hunger the steroids cause (even at night, seeing as they keep me up anyway) and I graze on high fiber (a.k.a. filling, slow to digest) and low fat foods (i love fresh fruit and raw veggies). I also drink TONS of fluids. So far this has helped me keep from gaining weight, and it has also helped keep me pretty regular as the chemo meds can mess up the back end pretty good. I know any of this could change as my treatment progress, but so far it has been working.

Good luck!

Posts: 43
Joined: Apr 2009

thanks so much for your comment. sounds like i need to get use to eating veggies and fruit to keep from gaining. i love bread, it is like an addiction for me and that will be the worst but i just can not gain more weight. take care and good luck

lindaintn's picture
Posts: 8
Joined: Jul 2009

i am 1 1/2 yrs remission from CHOP/ rituxin. currently in rituxin(sp?) program. i gained 25 lbs.(size 12 now. i was ok with that) tired still alot. no "kick it the butt" get-up-and-go like i used to have. my family and friends give me their " diet tips " ALOT. they just have no idea!! i live alone, single. i am still me.

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2010

Due to that problem I was unable to make fast running.

Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2009

I gained 30lbs during chemo. I was always hungry and it seemed like I couldn't get full plus food helped the nausea. As long as I had food in my stomach, especially like bread, I felt less sick. I averaged about 2.5 lbs a week during chemo, just finished with treatments and ow trying to lose it!

ldot123's picture
Posts: 276
Joined: Apr 2008

Hi there,

I gained a ton of weight because of prednisone. Before treatment, I lost weight and had no appetite at all. The prednisone made me ravenous. That was 20 years ago.

dixiegirl's picture
Posts: 1043
Joined: Apr 2006

I was gaining 5-6 pounds every 3 weeks. Still have about 10 pounds more than I'd like, but hey it beats the alternative!

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Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2010

I gained a lot of weight since my treatment. More importantly, my body shape has changed. I've always had a very small waist/flat stomach, no matter what my weight was. However, since my R-CHOP I have gained a lot of weight on my stomach and now have big love handles. I did find an older study that said that the doxorubicin caused abdominal obesity, but I'm unable to find anything more on this. I'd be very interested to know if others found that their weight gain was around their stomach.

tcvine's picture
Posts: 174
Joined: Aug 2010

Hi Rizza,

Well, I have a theory that is strictly my own and NOT based on ANY science or research.
For many years I was able to eat whatever I wanted and, as long as I kept up a moderate exercise routine, I would not gain weight.

But, as my chemo wore on and I exercised less and less (and got to be 60 years old), I have been gaining weight while eating less. Keep in mind that I had no symptoms of lymphoma at all even though it was far advanced by the time I found it - no symptoms including the symptom of unexplained weight loss.

I think that I may have been eating enough to counter whatever effect the cancer might have - and now that the cancer is in remission, I'm gaining weight!

So, my New Year Resolution this year -- eat less, exercise more, fight the return of cancer.

This is just a personal theory, but I do feel for you with the unexpected weight problem. Good Luck.

Tom (DLBCL-4-7/10-Remission)

Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2011

I began my RCHOP treatment November 2009 for Non Hodgekins Lymphnoma Bcell. I was on Predisone, at the beginning I did not have noticable weight gain. By February 2010 the weight started to climb, I had 8 cycles of RChop th weight increased gradually, but continued to increase even after the completion of RCHOP. I have gained 3 stone in weight, I feel terrible with aching joints. I am active take my dog for walks every day for about 4 Km. I hate the bloated feeling of been over weight, nothing fits anymore. At present I am in partial remission. my work is active, carrying out surveys of countryside. If I dont lose this heavy load, I will not be safe working within my field. Does any one out there know best way to reduce this steroid induced weight (predisnone) I am lucky to be a NHL survivor, but dont want to be a blob.

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