Multidisciplinary treatment can reduce weight gain in patients with cancer

With staff nurses, nutritional, physical educators and psychologists help mitigate adverse effects of chemotherapy

Foto: Divulgação/Hospital Samaritano
Auro del Giglio, study coordinator, medical oncologist at Samaritan Hospital
Auro del Giglio, study coordinator, medical oncologist at Samaritan Hospital

Nausea and hair loss are some of the adverse effects most feared by women when they undergo chemotherapy treatment. But beyond these, the weight gain also deserves attention. Study coordinated by Samaritan Hospital Medical Oncologist, Auro del Giglio, shows that women gain one pound of weight per chemotherapy cycle.

Cycles are units of chemotherapy, administered periodically for a specified time. For example, there are drugs that are administered every 28 days, others every 21 days and reaching weekly applications. The complete treatment can range from four to five cycles. So, in the end, the woman can gain up to five pounds.

Giglio says that the deployment of a humanized treatment with a multidisciplinary team comprised of nurses, nutritional, physical educators and psychologists can help mitigate these adverse effects. With a nutritional counseling and increased physical activity, can reduce weight gain by up to one third: two pounds per cycle for up to 300 grams.

This situation is very unpleasant for the woman. Today, we can control nausea, we have wigs that imitate perfectly the woman's natural hair. But we still have the problem of weight gain to handle. Therefore, the importance of a call increasingly humanized involving several professional treatment. And that is what we are looking for here at Samaritan, says the expert.

<b> causes weight gain </ b>

Several studies were conducted to assess the impact of changes in the metabolism of these patients. Women with breast cancer have a greater tendency to hypothyroidism, ie, a decrease in the functioning of the thyroid, which can promote weight gain. In our study, 16% of patients had elevated TSH in the blood, a sign that the gland was running slower.

According Giglio, excluding those cases that are easily treated with hormone, it is likely that women get fat because they are eating more and reduce physical activity. In particular, for two reasons collaborate this: medication against nausea contains steroids, a substance that stimulates the appetite and the feeling of fatigue and weakness that may occur during treatment, helps to reduce physical activity, explains.