Welcome, Guest. Please sign in or register.

Did you miss your activation email?

Bowel cancer treatment and side effects


Loss of appetite


Does anyone have any tips on beating loss of appetite. I've had steroids before to help but they make me very wired and aren't a long term solution. I'm currently having Avastin and cape which is probably causing it. I've lost a lot of weight recently but have managed to put 6 lbs on before this new bout of appetite loss kicked in. Any suggestions welcome as I don't want to lose all that weight again.

Holly Nurse Advisor

[size=10pt][size=10pt]Hello Karen.

It is worth having a look at our booklet 'Eating Well' which has some great information on ways to cope with lost appetite. Pages 6 and 7 in the booklet focus on this.


It might be worth speaking to your GP or consultant, as you may need some extra supplements to help keep the weight on and calories up, especially at this stage in your treatment.

There are high calorie drinks available to supplement your diet, in between meals - this link has more information on this.


I hope this is helpful and please don't hesitate to give us a call to discuss this further.

Many kind regards,
Holly [/size] [/size]


Hi Holly

Thanks for the advice and the link. I think some of mine is so related to anxiety. I've got a scan next week and this is praying on my mind.


hiya- this is not something I ever experience, I always ate like a horse throug eveything except when I was really acually sick .. one of my (hilarious!!) mates said I was the fattest caancer patient she'd ever seen :-\

So personally I have no idea, but in theory I think that you need to see eating as nourishing yourself .. even when you are anxious etc. try not to undermine your body by not looking after it properly ... make a study of the advice Holly posted and resolve to try some of it out ... " because you're worth it"...

try to stick to little routines about food. Would it work to set a timer and eat on the times if you can? and get lovely littl things in to eat that you usually fancy when you are eating normally and think of it as looking after yourself like you would try to coax a.n. other person in your family to eat if she was ill ... you deserve to be well-cared for, my dear .. and hopefully ou can kick that scan into orbit soon ...



i am like Suze, too much appetite !

could always change though i suppose




I have same problem as you. After my first dose of chemo I've lost 7lbs, but actually I have been eating. Probably not as much as I have. I tend to have to look at the time to remind myself that I should be eating. I certainly don't eat because I fancy something. It's definitely fuel for me at the moment.

This time round I can't snack on the high calorie foods due to stomach problems, but I am learning to have in the house all foods I can handle then if I want to pick I can. I try to have about 6-8 small meals a day rather than 3 large ones. My latest have snack type foods are crumpets, hot chocolate - turkish delight flavour, Ben and Jerry's chocolate brownie frozen yogurt, snack a jacks, toast, fruit pastilles, cheerios, porridge, go ahead bars and some little vegetable fritter type things I found in Sainsburys. None of these are high in fat or calories, this isn't because I'm on a diet lol - I can't process fats/biles so have to "build" up my weight with large quantities of safe foods. Oh and Uncle Ben's microwave rice!

I wish I could do the anti cancer diet - but my body just won't allow it, so I'm now eating to suit my body and what it needs/craves.

Last year on chemo I had things like fish fingers, soups, custard, ice cream, biscuits and puddings always available for when I did want to eat. I lost my appetite and tastebuds so really struggled to eat at all. So I went for very high calorie foods in small quantities and ate when I could handle it. It is so incredibly hard and I really feel for you. I'd keep a food diary - then create a list of foods which are good to have in the house for when you're up to it - easy stuff which you can stick in oven or microwave that doesn't require much prep or fuss.

How about milkshakes?

Not sure if this will be any good to you?

Hannah :x::x:


Hi Hannah

Thanks for the advise. I also want to do the anti cancer diet but just can't tolerate anything spicy or acidic right now. Went to see my onco yesterday as I'm still being sick constantly and he's recommend an endoscope next week to see if there is anything physical causing the problem. Of course my brain reels off into what if the cancer had spread to my stomach, and is that why I can't keep anything bigger than a couple of spoons full down, I'll have that next Thursday so at least won't have to wait long. He's also given me a different acid suppressor and something for thrush in case I've got that at the end of my oesophagus. And to really make me feel better I've pulled a muscle in my back with all the retching, how glamorous do I sound.


Do you like Horlicks KarenB? it is so full of vitamins and minerals, there is also a chocolate one that I adore.
No you don't sound glamorous you sound blooming lovely though. Some gentle hugs sent through the ether for you.