Muscle loss

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by catdander forum moderator catdander forum moderator 1 year, 5 months ago.

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June 11, 2016 at 10:34 am  #1274279    

gillbarnes1960

Hi forum, is muscle loss a sign of early or late lung cancer? Also, does it relate more to any particular type of lung cancer? Thank you for any help. Gill.

June 11, 2016 at 10:51 am  #1274280    
JimC Forum Moderator
JimC Forum Moderator

Hello,

Loss of muscle mass in cancer patients is mainly associated with lack of appetite and weight loss, generally with advanced cancers of any type. As Dr. West has said:

“To be honest, muscle wasting isn’t the leading focus of anyone in oncology except people who sell expensive medications to fight muscle wasting. We are far more concerned about it in the context of weight loss, and I don’t think there’s much information about wasting without weight loss. I’m certainly not familiar with information about this specific question.”

JimC
Forum moderator


Jul 2008 Wife Liz (51/never smoker) Dx Stage IV NSCLC EGFR exon 19
4 cycles Carbo/alimta, 65% shrinkage
Tarceva maintenance
Mar 2010 progression, added Alimta, stable
Sep 2010 multiple brain mets, WBR
Oct 2010 large pericardial effusion, tamponade
Jan 2011 progression, start abraxane
Jun 2011-New liver, brain mets, add Tarceva
Oct 2011-Dx Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis; pulsed Tarceva
At rest Nov 4 2011
Since then: http://cancergrace.org/blog/jim-and-lisa

June 24, 2016 at 6:33 am  #1274473    

gillbarnes1960

Jim, thank you for responding. I have had more tests and it looks like I may have some condition causing me to not absorb nutrients, hence my muscle loss and fatigue. One thing that I am not convinced about is cancer induced weight loss being an advanced symptom. It looks like it is often a presenting symptom, and while a lot of people present at late stage there are also (it appears) a lot of people that present early with weight loss as a first symptom. I was just thinking if there is any evidence of weight loss being a presenting early symptom for any of the types of lung cancer. Thanks.
Gill.

June 25, 2016 at 2:59 pm  #1274485    
catdander forum moderator
catdander forum moderator

Hi Gill,

One thing we know for sure is cancer can do anything, it can really live up to its reputation. 1. NSCLC can present with the only evidence being metastatic spread, no primary tumors to be found. 2. At this time most nsclc is detected at an advanced stage because there aren’t symptoms. So knowing those 2 things about nsclc and cancer in general, you can easily make a case that weight loss may be cancer.

Lots of issues cause loss of appetite. But as Jim said it’s loss of appetite that cancer can cause in turn causing weight loss and muscle loss.

I’m sorry we can’t be of anymore help to find what’s going on but it sounds important enough to look further into the matter.

All best,
Janine

June 26, 2016 at 4:17 am  #1274487    

gillbarnes1960

Janine thank you for the useful update, does the information also apply to carcinoids and sclc?

June 26, 2016 at 1:40 pm  #1274489    
catdander forum moderator
catdander forum moderator

It does apply to all cancers. From cancer.org , “A cancer may also cause symptoms like fever, extreme tiredness (fatigue), or weight loss. This may be because cancer cells use up much of the body’s energy supply, or they may release substances that change the way the body makes energy from food. Cancer can also cause the immune system to react in ways that produce these signs and symptoms.” http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancerbasics/signs-and-symptoms-of-cancer

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