Cachexia(redirected from Cancer cachexia)
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a state of profound wasting and physical debility manifested by severe emaciation, weight loss, dry and flabby skin, loss of hair, disappearance of subcutaneous fat, atrophy of muscles and viscera, and low serum protein level. Edema, hemorrhages, and sometimes mental derangement can occur with cachexia. It results from prolonged malnutrition or starvation, severe metabolic disorders, chronic arsenic, lead, mercury, or fluorine poisoning, and severe lesions of the digestive tract (atrophy of the intestinal mucosa, condition after resection of the stomach and intestines). Cachexia may occur in severe cases of tuberculosis or other chronic infections, some lesions of the endocrine glands, (hypophysis, thyroid, adrenals, pancreas), large slow-healing wounds, abscesses, and malignant tumors (especially of the esophagus and stomach).