Anybody experiencing unexplained weight loss should see their GP as soon as possible, as it has been described as a ‘red flag’ for cancer diagnoses.
Though many people might welcome losing some extra pounds, weight loss of five per cent or more in six months, called cachexia, could be a sign of something sinister happening in the body.
Medical negligence solicitor Kim Jackson told the Express: “A loss of appetite, weight loss that cannot be explained and fatigue are also key signs.”
It occurs as the body does not absorb all the nutrients, including protein, fat, and carbohydrates, that is being consumed.
Cancer Research UK states that cancer might release chemicals into the blood that result in a breakdown of fat and muscle.
The charity revealed cachexia affects 60 per cent of people with lung cancer, while coughing up blood, chest paint, persistent coughs, wheezing, breathlessness and infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia are other symptoms to look out for.
Cachexia is not just an indication of lung cancer, however, as it is also common in patients with pancreatic, head, neck, colorectal, ovarian, and liver cancers.
It is thought to occur in 80 per cent of patients with advanced cancer, with the condition itself resulting in almost a third of cancer deaths. This is most often the result of heart or respiratory failure due to muscle loss.
As well as causing fatigue, weakness, and an impact on daily activities, it can lead to mental health difficulties, such as anxiety, stress, and anguish.
Therefore, not only should cachexia not be ignored as a possible sign for cancer, it could also result in a severe decline of physical and mental health of the patient on its own accord.
If you’re worried about weight loss and want a Sheffield oncology diagnosis, give us a call today.