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How serious is Cancer Cachexia?

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How serious is Cancer Anorexia Cachexia?

In the previous sections, you have learned about the general characteristics of Cancer Anorexia Cachexia, how common it is, how it arises, and how to recognize it. What hasn’t been stressed is just how serious it is. Cachexia is a very severe complication of cancer: weight loss during treatment is associated with more side effects of chemotherapy, fewer cycles of chemotherapy, a lower response to therapy, and even decreased survival.1 It is estimated that more than 20% of cancer patients die due to cachexia, and more than 50% of patients die with cachexia.1,2

More than just loss of weight

Cancer Anorexia Cachexia has enormous impact on the quality of life since patients suffer from a wide variety of physical symptoms as the condition progresses.1 Individuals will experience fatigue and reduced mobility and ability to perform daily activities. In one study, patients indicated that their quality of life was affected more by weight loss and poor nutritional status than by the cancer itself. The decreased quality of life is directly related to the inability to perform physical activities and exercise normally.1

The social and psychological burden of Cancer Cachexia
The consequences of Cancer Cachexia on physical health also have significant impact on the social and psychological health of sufferers and are considered to be one of the most devastating problems in patients with cancer. Psychological stress in cancer patients is associated with high rates of depression that can affect up to one in three individuals. Anxiety over the person not eating can further raise concerns and tension. Many sufferers believe that their weight loss is just a part of their cancer getting worse, and as such feel that any efforts to eat more are useless.1 Dissatisfaction with one’s body image can also cause psychological distress in a number of areas such as decreased sexual interest, sleep disorder, and overall well-being.3 The main causes for negative psychosocial consequences of Cancer Cachexia are a lack of knowledge about the potentially irreversible nature of Cancer Cachexia together with unsuccessful attempts to increase body weight.4 In this regard, it should be mentioned that early identification of psychosocial problems can allow for possible interventions that may improve the quality of life of those affected.4

The severity of Cancer Cachexia

Cancer Anorexia Cachexia is a very serious condition. It poses significant burden on both sufferers and their families from both physical and psychological points of view. It goes without saying that this progressive condition is important because of its significant effects on mortality of cancer patients, and as such deserves greater attention from patients, families, and caregivers. It is thus crucial to talk about Cancer Cachexia with your doctors and nurses whenever it is felt that appetite or weight problems are no longer within what you consider as normal. These are important first steps in addressing Cancer Cachexia at the earliest stage possible.

References

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