Focus On Treating Malnutrition In Cancer Patients

Nutrition — By on April 26, 2009 at 7:30 am

Malnutrition is a common problem in cancer. It is estimated that between 31% and 87% of cancer patients will experience weight loss and malnutrition during the course of their disease.

Such patients are left with a poorer response to treatment, worse quality of life and reduced survival. Yet the problem often remains undiagnosed and untreated.

Dr Shafia Amdouni, from the Cancer Nutrition Rehabilitation Program at Canada’s McGill University Health Center, and colleagues set out to study the relationship between malnutrition and psychological distress in patients who were taking part in a cancer nutrition rehabilitation program.
They studied 213 patients with advanced cancer, asking them to assess their own nutrition status and their distress.

Nutrition was measured using a patient-generated subjective global assessment, which calculates a grouping of nutritional scores after combining information from food intake, weight change, nutrition-related symptoms, and performance status and categorizes patients into three distinctive classes of nutritional status.

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