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Loss of Appetite and Metastatic Breast Cancer

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It can be difficult to predict how treatment will affect how you feel about eating; every treatment for metastatic breast cancer has the potential to affect your appetite. Your sense of smell and sense of taste may change, which can affect your appetite. It's best to have a flexible, healthy eating plan to help you deal with your body's changing needs and wants.

If you find that you're not hungry or don’t want to eat for an extended period of time, talk to your doctor and/or a registered dietitian who has experience with people undergoing cancer treatment. Not getting enough fluids, protein, and calories can contribute to feeling tired or fatigued.

Other ideas you may want to consider:

  • Try new foods if you start to dislike your favorite foods.
  • Ask another person to cook for you. If you can’t stand cooking smells, rely on prepared foods from a store.
  • Try eating cold foods, which have fewer smells.
  • Rinse your mouth with tea, ginger ale, salted water, or baking soda dissolved in water before you eat to help clear your taste buds.
  • Try sucking on ice chips between bites of food. If you’ve had changes in your sense of taste, ice chips can help numb the taste buds.
  • Eat small, frequent meals rather than a conventional breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Don't wait until you feel hungry to eat. Think of eating as a necessary part of your treatment.
  • Consider a liquid protein supplement if you're having trouble getting enough protein and calories.

Learn more about appetite changes.

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