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How to combat weight gain during treatment?

Care with food and physical exercise during the treatment for breast cancer are essential, not only to keep the body balanced and have a better quality of life, but also because cancer treatment can cause weight gain and cause a series of discomfort in patients.

It is quite common for people who are not yet familiar with the side effects of cancer treatments not to know this information, but in fact, there are medications that, associated with other factors, can lead to weight gain. It is important to pay attention to the changes that occur in the body during this phase to keep in balance and weight gain does not become a source of frustration for patients, who are already facing an extremely difficult time.

Weight gain during cancer treatment occurs for several reasons: some women, when undergoing chemotherapy, may experience early menopause, which contributes to the appearance of a few extra pounds on the scale. This is because the metabolism, during this period, ends up getting slower and there are significant changes in the body structure, in this way the body ends up losing muscle mass and gaining fat.

Another reason associated with the extra pounds has to do with the medications used throughout chemotherapy. Sometimes, it is necessary to take medication to help fight nausea and vomiting, and these medications usually have corticosteroids in their composition, which increase appetite and can cause fluid retention and loss of muscle mass.

Corticosteroids and steroids are hormonal substances that are directly linked to adipose tissue, so swelling may appear in the neck, back and abdomen during use. The use of hormone therapy can also change the amount of estrogen and progesterone in women, which ends up changing the way food is metabolized by the body. It is important that patients receive nutritional monitoring before, during and after hormone therapy, emphasizing programs for lifestyle changes and dietary re-education, in the pursuit of a healthy weight.

Other factors such as lack of physical exercise and carelessness with food contribute to weight gain. Often, the lack of control with the feeding routine associated with the medication used during chemotherapy has the side effect of fatigue, which makes the body slow down and unwanted extra pounds appear.

However, the most important thing to note is that each body reacts in a different way, therefore, weight changes may be different in each case. While some report weight gain, others notice a marked decrease in appetite. Thus, the concern throughout this period should not only be with physical appearance, but with health in general, since dietary control does not refer only to aesthetics, but to associated diseases that can develop due to excess or lack of weight.

Women who are predisposed to gain weight should be aware that the increased risk of weight gain is associated with health and its consequences, such as the appearance of high blood pressure and heart disease. In addition, being overweight is also one of the factors associated with increased chances of disease recurrence.

The benefits of a balanced diet and a moderate exercise program are numerous throughout the treatment for breast cancer. These measures can help the body's ability to rebuild healthy tissue and muscle mass, improve the patient's willingness to treatment, increase tolerance to the side effects of chemotherapy, and cause a considerable improvement in quality of life. Weight control throughout the treatment becomes essential for a good recovery and increased energy. Take care of yourself!


How to guarantee fertility after cancer treatment?

Every patient who is undergoing cancer treatment and is still of childbearing age should be made aware of the possibility of losing fertility and be aware of the options available to preserve it. Several factors determine whether a woman will become infertile after treatment: older age, dose and location of radiation, and the types of chemotherapy drugs prescribed for her. Chemotherapy is effective in the treatment of many cancers, but it can harm or reduce the number of eggs, or even inducing an early menopause.

There are options to preserve fertility in women who have been diagnosed with cancer The technology allows you to capture and freeze your eggs, embryos or ovarian tissue before treating the cancer. This way, there is a greater chance of getting pregnant after treatment. This process is called cryopreservation or freezing of eggs or embryos.




How is the cryopreservation of eggs or embryos?

Cryopreservation of eggs or embryos is the safest way to preserve your chance of getting pregnant in the future. There is also ovarian tissue freezing, but it is still experimental.

To capture the eggs you will need to take medications that stimulate the production of more eggs than usual, and in total, the process can take 2 to 3 weeks to complete. This procedure can be performed between diagnosis and initiation of therapy. Modern treatments are very safe and pose no risk to patients,

Hormones will be prescribed to stimulate the ovaries to produce a series of eggs. Once they develop, they will be removed by an ultrasound-guided puncture. At this point the eggs can be frozen, or if I have a partner, you can do the insemination and freeze the embryos. The embryos will be inseminated in the laboratory, with the union of sperm, and will be cryopreserved (frozen).

If you decide to have children after cancer treatment is complete, one or more embryos may be implanted in the uterus. An interval of 2 to 5 years between the end of cancer treatment and implantation is recommended.

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Sorocaba Medical Center


Rua Sorocaba, 464 - room 202

Tel. 21 2537-0138 / 2539-5093

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Americas Medical City

Barra da Tijuca

Av. Jorge Curi, 550 - rooms 252/253

Tel. 21 3264-4866 / 3264-4863

    Tuesday and Thursday

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