Aa
Aa
A
A
A
Close
Avatar universal

Is unintended weight loss a side effect of either radiation therapy or statin use?

Hello everyone. I finished chemotherapy 5 weeks ago for Stage I BC and just finished the first week of radiation to my right breast. I have lost four pounds this week and it doesn't seem like I am eating less. This feels alarming to me   because I have always been on the heavy side and it's generally hard to lose weight.  I am wondering if it is the radiation?  The other possibility is I started taking Lipitor 3 weeks ago in preparation for taking the systemic therapy. since can raise cholesterol levels. I will report this to my doctor, but it is the weekend and I am freaking out a bit.   Thank you for any insight or advice.
1 Responses
15695260 tn?1549593113
Hello CokieMarie and welcome to the forum. Thank you for your question!  I can certainly understand why losing weight seemingly out of nowhere after a cancer diagnosis is worrying.  However, there is a link between receiving radiation treatment and weight loss.  Please speak to your  health care team about this.  Studies have shown up to 65% of patients who receive radiation have weight loss.  BOTH chemotherapy and radiation can affect appetite .  I understand you aren't noticing any big changes with appetite.  There is also some suggestion that fighting cancer takes caloric energy to combat the inflammatory response.  So, this may be additionally contributing.  However, please do let your doctor (s) know about this and they should also be able to provide some strategies to overcome this if desired.  https://www.mdanderson.org/cancerwise/cancer-treatment-side-effect--involuntary-weight-loss.h00-159384312.html

As far as the statin, these aren't overly involved in weight changes but there is some new research coming out that they alter gut microbiota which may have some weight loss benefits.  https://medicaldialogues.in/cardiology-ctvs/news/statins-may-help-in-weight-loss-by-altering-gut-microbiota-65529  However, I'd guess this is more related to the above than your statin.  

Let us know how you are doing!
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Breast Cancer: Stage 1 & 2 Community

Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
A quick primer on the different ways breast cancer can be treated.
Diet and digestion have more to do with cancer prevention than you may realize
From mammograms to personal hygiene, learn the truth about these deadly breast cancer rumors.
Breast cancer is not an inevitability. From what you eat and drink to how much you exercise, learn what you can do to slash your risk.
For people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the COVID-19 pandemic can be particularly challenging.
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.