Health Questions and Answers

Question: What happens to energy expenditure in the cancer patient?


Decreased energy expenditure is a normal response to starvation. But this response is not always seen in cancer patients. They can demonstrate a persistent increase in energy expenditure in the face of a decreased intake. This failure to conserve energy expenditure is one of the contributing factors to cancer cachexia. It is a maladaptation of cancer patients to a state of starvation. Little is known definitely in this area. Studies have produced conflicting results and the factors which determine energy expenditure in the cancer patient are not known with any degree of certainty.

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