Are you worried about weight gain during chemotherapy? (VIC based trial)

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Fiona_BCNA
Fiona_BCNA Member Posts: 75

Weight gain is common in women undergoing
chemotherapy for breast cancer and can lead to:

-         
a decrease in quality of life and self esteem

-         
the development of other conditions e.g. heart
disease and diabetes

-         
increased risk of cancer recurrence

Oncology Clinics Victoria (OCV) are currently recruiting patients into a research study
comparing two dietary interventions to prevent weight gain during treatment.

Please note this trial is open to patients at all health services however consultations will be conducted out of Cabrini Malvern, Victoria or Cabrini Brighton, Victoria. For more eligibility requirements please see the flyer below.

Please contact OCV on 1300 300 977 or email dietitian@ocv.net.au for more
information.  www.ocv.net.au


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Comments

  • iserbrown
    iserbrown Member Posts: 5,566
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    Great idea!
  • Molly001
    Molly001 Member Posts: 419
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    Ooooh how I wish I'd been able to participate, but wrong state, wrong time. My weight gain has effected me far, far more than loosing my boob.
  • LMK74
    LMK74 Member Posts: 795
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    I'm the wrong state also, but when told most women gain weight , I was horrified and made it my mission to try maintain my current weight which so far I have but my journey is far from over.
  • melclarity
    melclarity Member Posts: 3,524
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    I was so ill I couldn't eat very much for 4.5 months and I still put on 5kg!!!! which refuses to budge, so I think it's not just the chemo but being thrown into menopause that puts this weight on. It's been one of the things that adds to what is already a hard situation that you are trying to cope with. So if there is a way that they can stop that, good!
  • LadyAside
    LadyAside Member Posts: 6
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    How so @Molly001 ? I too am worried about gaining weight, I really can't afford to be any heavier than I am.
  • Molly001
    Molly001 Member Posts: 419
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    @LadyAside for me, weight gain was a very unexpected and upsetting side effect of chemo. I'm 39 and normally one of those people who don't really gain weight. It has significantly effected my self esteem and confidence. I'm heavier now than when 9 months pregnant. I don't recognise myself in the mirror and don't feel like me. I had to buy larger clothes, but seeing as I am determined to loose the weight, and I'm broke, I only bought a handful of cheap kmart items, which don't look nice, and further effect my confidence. Also I feel physically terrible, less fit and less able... and kinda old. But I guess chemo could be responsible for that. I learned to let it go during chemo as I felt I had no control over it anyway. Im just finished now, so I'm optimistic I can loose the extra kgs now. Not everyone gains weight though. I didn't eat well because of nausea, which not everyone gets either. And I found my apetite ridiculously ferocious at times. If you're worried about it, talk to your oncologist and perhaps they can refer you to a dietician. I never did, but prob should have. Wishing you all the best.
  • melclarity
    melclarity Member Posts: 3,524
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    @Molly001 I was exactly the same as you, always quite trim at a stable weight. I went up a size which as you say was something unexpected though they said to me it would happen. Already broken and beaten from chemo, bald, no eyelashes and constantly in pain and felt sick, dealing with this absolutely shoots your self confidence. I'm 10 years older than you, and thought maybe as it threw me into an unnatural menopause, that it was the culprit. I remember seeing my Surgeon and he said not to worry as I will return to more my weight, it takes time for the body to readjust again. I'm 19 months post Chemo now, I've come along way, but cannot stress the importance of an Exercise Physiologist, I needed professional rehabilitation, I couldnt even walk to my letterbox. Now I can walk an hour self paced. I have dropped a couple of kilos but not the whole lot. I still want to lose about 5kg but honestly its hard!! So you absolutely can lose it inspite of treatment and ongoing meds. I had to change my diet up too, but I feel great!!! which gives you confidence to keep building. Hang in there, it does get better it's just a slow process. Oh and I love Kmart haha!!!! Hugs Melinda xo
  • Molly001
    Molly001 Member Posts: 419
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    @melclarity you're an inspiration xxx
  • EarthWalkerLisha
    EarthWalkerLisha Member Posts: 74
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    I wasn't worried about weight gain during chemo treatment as I would lose a few kilos due to nausea but when I started feeling better I was worried then as the weight would come straight back on because I was eating again.  Now it's 8 months post chemo and I'm putting on more weight.  I already was overweight before chemo due to being hypothyroid and having hashimoto's.  Now I'm the heaviest I've ever been.  I really need an exercise and diet plan but can't really afford to pay a professional for help.  Weight! It's a difficult thing to shift.  Yes I love Kmart too! @melclarity :D
  • melclarity
    melclarity Member Posts: 3,524
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    Lisha, my Exercise Physiologist costs me nothing it's been set up by AMP my Income Protection. However, if you go to your GP, I'm sure you can actually get about 6 sessions on a plan! They just help with stretching and getting you moving, Ive been so lucky but this is whats making the difference. x
  • EarthWalkerLisha
    EarthWalkerLisha Member Posts: 74
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    I found out that the YWCA group 'YWCA encore' do exercise and hydrotherapy for free for 8 weeks for all women who were being treated for breast cancer.  However they won't be starting up until October in my area I think, so I'm just doing my walking with the dogs until then.  I think the YWCA encore program is Australia wide too!
    http://www.ywcaencore.org.au/

  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,388
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    I was lucky, I lost weight on chemo without any nausea. But then I started putting it back on when I finished treatment. So I have had to modify my diet (no snacks, very limited alcohol, small or no lunch, don't skip breakfast!) and get to the gym. Holidays were great, walking a lot every day and I lost 3 kilos! But 3 weeks back and the creep is back too. Like Melinda says it's a slow process but very satisfying when you see results.
  • melclarity
    melclarity Member Posts: 3,524
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    Lisha, you are right about the Encore Program.  I actually did the Enhance Program through the Epworth in Melbourne, it was 6 weeks and fantastic!!! thats what led me to an Exercise Physiologist from there last year, what I love is the exercises are specific for someone having been through Breast Cancer and any subsequent treatments such as Chemo. She knows so much it's incredible, so knows exactly what's happening with my body, muscles and what exercises that will give me maximum recovery. :) 
  • EarthWalkerLisha
    EarthWalkerLisha Member Posts: 74
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    @Afraser I was doing ok during radiation then I got shingles just before Christmas when i finished radiation.  A few months later I started on Zoladex implants, so right now I'm really feeling the effects of menopause, hormones and weight gain.  My problem is I like chocolate and eat it emotionally, so right now I'm trying to curb the habit.

    @melclarity I only wish I could have started with the Encore program a few months ago when my menopause symptoms really started kicking in. But I shall wait until October.  Glad you have found somebody to help you with exercise specific to bc recovery.
  • TonyaM
    TonyaM Member Posts: 2,836
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    I lost weight on chemo cos I couldn't eat. But I put on a few kilos whilst taking Tamoxifen. I've had success with the 5:2 diet.I'm able to lose a few kilos but struggle after that. I need more will power!