Dr. Thomson shares the weight management issues women should be aware of before having cancer surgery or cancer treatments.
Women, when they go through surgery for a cancer treatment or when they go through chemotherapy, what we know is those therapies tend to reduce lean mass and increase fat mass, and so what happens is during therapy, a lot of times women are trying to just stabilize their weight. They may be nauseated, they may be fatigued, and they may not eat as healthy a diet as they wish to.
And so it’s really important afterwards to realize that even if your weight has not changed during treatment, there’s a good chance that you have reduced your lean mass and increased your fat mass, and that ratio of lean to fat mass can be problematic.
What we are seeing is even some lean women or women with healthy BMIs can present with metabolic syndrome simply because they have this excess fat mass in relationship to their lean mass, and so it’s very important even if you have a healthy body weight to understand the importance of physical activity, of continuing to be as active as you possibly can to get those lean stores back to normal.
About Dr. Thomson, Ph.D., R.D.:
Dr. Cynthia Thomson, Ph.D., R.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Arizona. She is a registered dietitian with a doctoral degree in nutritional sciences. She has been conducting cancer research since 1994. Dr. Thomson was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2003.