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Raising awareness of and funding research into Upper Gastro-Intestinal Cancers

ANOREXIA-CACHEXIA SYNDROME.




Cachexia is the involuntary weight loss associated with certain diseases, of which malignancy is one. Preferential loss of muscle and visceral protein is typical and the speed and extent to which this occurs can be dramatic. In practice cachexia is usually seen within the anorexia-cachexia syndrome (ACS).

PHYSICAL CONSEQUENCES OF ACS

1 Anorexia (reduced appetite/ interest in food)
2 Weight loss, including loss of muscle.
3 A range of symptoms which may include.
Early satiety (feeling full very quickly)
Nausea ( with or without vomiting)
Mouth problems
Bowel changes (constipation/ diarrhoea)
Fatigue and Weakness

PSYCHOLOGICAL AND EMOTIONAL CONSEQUENCES

For both patient and carer may include.

A Anxiety
B Conflict around food
C Altered body image as a result of weight loss
D Low mood.
Your Gastro CNS will provide the patient and carer with a self assessment questionaire that will quickly help with the diagnosis and treatment of ACS. This includes questions on your present and previous weights, what problems you have had with food intake over the past few weeks, changes in food intake over the past month and changes in physical activity over the past month. The patient will be put in contact with a medical dietician and advised on the use of food supplements and amended diet. If necessary feeding tubes will be organised and a safety net feeding program introduced
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