What is Cancer Cachexia?

Cancer Cachexia is losing weight quickly when you have cancer, even when you’re eating enough. It’s often described as a syndrome, not a disease. It’s extremely complex and poorly understood.

How can you treat Cancer Cachexia?

Currently Cancer Cachexia is not treated directly. Instead the underlying cancer is treated. This has not been a successful approach.

Here are some potential treatments for Cancer Cachexia:

Medication such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Exercise, especially endurance exercise

Nutritional support such as calorie-dense protein supplements

Why is  Cancer Cachexia so important?

80% of cancer patients suffer from some level of Cancer Cachexia. It lowers quality of life and often prevents cancer treatment because the patient is too sick for drugs, surgery or radiation. Also, 30% of cancer deaths are caused by Cancer Cachexia.

Who is trying to cure Cancer Cachexia?

The leading researcher on Cancer Cachexia is Dr. Lingbing Zhang. You can see his TEDx talk here:


You can contact Dr. Lingbing Zhang via Twitter here:


What other diseases cause Cachexia?

Many diseases cause cachexia in the late stages including HIV, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD), kidney disease and Congestive heart failure (CHF).

Information for medical professionals:

The Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle: