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Re Night Sweats and Cancer

(12 Posts)
IntotheNittyGritty Sun 31-Jul-11 20:34:43

Ive noticed on a few threads that people have advised being checked by the doctor because of night sweats.

It is always assumed for a woman that she must be going through the change.

Why can night sweating an indication of cancer?

Please dont be alarmed for those who just sweat at night.

I am asking this because a few months ago I have never been aware of this and have never heard of any connection.

Yes, I had/have night sweats, among other symptons, and yes I have cancer. And every time I am in hospital I am asked how much I have sweated.

Thank you

nightcat Sun 31-Jul-11 22:24:49

hope you are well recovered, very interesting question, my understanding is that if detox channels in the body are impaired somewhat, it will try to eliminate toxins via sweating (eg if lymph nodes or liver affected being main channels of detox), no idea why it happens more at night tho, but found this on the net:

"The exact cause for night sweats in cancer patients is not known. Medical researchers are of the opinion that cancerous cells release different kinds of hormones, which trigger excessive sweating during night time. The intensity of night sweats due to cancer may vary from one patient to another. Some may experience mild sweating, whereas others may have severe problems that they need to change their clothes several times. Though not all, excessive sweating in cancer is observed in many of the cancer types. For instance, in most of the patients with pancreatic cancer, night sweats are reported as one of the common warning signs manifested before undergoing differential diagnosis. Not only this, other types of cancer such as lymphoma (tumor developed in the lymph tissues) and leukemia are also accompanied with night sweats as a noticeable symptom. Besides manifesting as an early sign, night sweats are also a side effect of cancer treatment drugs and therapies."

YummyHoney Sun 31-Jul-11 22:26:43

I don't know the answer to your question but just want to reassure everyone suffering from night sweats that it doesn't necessarily mean they have cancer.

I have suffered night sweats, on and off for 10 years - once for a serious infection and, other times due to hormone changes.

I wish you a speedy recovery. smile

Elibean Sun 31-Jul-11 22:47:19

I don't know why, but I do know night sweats can be a symptom of lymphoma or leukaemia (I didn't know about pancreatic cancer).

And of course, a symptom of many other things too. Including depression (dh had them dreadfully, a couple of years after his brother died). Always worth checking out, though.

NittyGritty, I hope treatment is going okay, if its started. Think of you often.

nightcat Sun 31-Jul-11 22:50:11

sweating comes via lymph nodes, so it would make sense in case of lymphoma

lisad123 Sun 31-Jul-11 22:55:59

no idea, but dh had months of night sweats before he was told he had cancer. sad

tallulah Sun 31-Jul-11 22:59:33

That's interesting. I had started suffering from night sweats but assumed I was menopausal. I have recently had cancer. Doctors have never mentioned it as a symptom tho.

HazeltheMcWitch Mon 01-Aug-11 14:37:29

Another ex-night-sweater and ex-cancer-patient here!

Mine was an endocrine cancer - as is pancreatic cancer in the above quote. Endocrine means gland/hormone-related, and it is the glands which produce hormones which can lead to much sweating. Ie imbalance of hormones (sort of) causes imbalance of sweating.

Another theory I read (too much time in waiting rooms reading medical journals!) was that sweating could be related to the body trying to heal itself - in the same way that temp rises with an infection.

NB there is not a general direct link. Rather many symptoms build up to paint a picture. Not all symptoms are relevant, nor related to the cancer.

VelvetSnow Mon 01-Aug-11 14:49:33

Can anyone shed any more light on exactly what these Night Sweats are.

I'm asking because I wake several times in the night and my body is soaking wet, my bedclothes are now washed daily. I wake and my hair is sticking to my head, I can also feel droplets of sweat running down my neck, back and chest.

I have also noticed that even in this warm weather I am always cold and putting on a jumper or taking an additional blanket to bed.

Does this sound familiar?

I am going to get this checked out by GP on Friday.

nightcat Mon 01-Aug-11 15:05:18

That's how I look at this too, basically it means that lymph glands are working extra hard and the reason doesn't have to be cancer.
Been also reading stuff about macrophages and immunity and my understanding is that lymph nodes try to clean out the debris from the immune system, which would explain sweating during infection too.
As lymphatic system doesn't have the pump (like heart for blood circulation), during the day the activity of muscles movement pump the lymph around, but as there isn't that much physical activity at night, there perhaps is a build up of perspiration..? one of the reasons I think use of deodorants to stop sweating is not very healthy, so I just use body spray rather than deo, coz if it doesnt come out, where would it all go??

nightcat Mon 01-Aug-11 15:07:08

velvet, the cold bit could be something to do with thyroid, my friend is hypothyroid and she is always cold even in this weather (haven't talked to her about sweating tho)

Knkush Wed 24-Feb-16 23:48:41

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