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Late Stage Lung Cancer Diagnosis



My sister has late stage 3 lung cancer. She had the lower half of one lung removed. She now wieghts 103 lbs. (very under weight for her, her height is 5'10").  Due to being underweight, she cannot undergo cancer treatment.  Is there a way for her to gain weight?

I recommended weight gain formulas the body builders use since it`s pure protein. Is there anything else she could eat or drink that is extremly high in protein that would be of help? Is there a pill that would make her hungry? Thank-you for your time and help.


It is very common for people with lung carcinoma to lose weight. A little bit of the weight loss is due to not eating, but the majority of the weight loss is caused by proteins made by the cancer that breaks down muscles and fat in the body. Even if she ate well and took supplements, she still could be losing weight. So taking supplements that body builders take probably won’t help, because the cancer itself will not allow her to gain any weight. Most of the supplements out there are for healthy people; it is possible that her kidneys may not be able to handle the extra protein and kidney problems would make her worse.

If she has nausea or vomiting, than ask her doctor how to take care of those things. The only scientifically studied supplements that MAY be helpful in slowing down the weight loss would be 2 grams of eicosapentanoic acid per day.  Try Prosuretm or Juventm which is a blend of specific amino acids taken twice per day. It is rare to see someone pass on from starvation; it is the cancer causing this weight loss and other problems.

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Response by:

Joanna M Brell, MD Joanna M Brell, MD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University