, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 180-187

Cachexia and anorexia: cancer's covert killer

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Abstract

 Cachexia and anorexia are often not observed at the time of diagnosis of cancer. While the initial medical intervention for cancer patients includes antitumor therapy and pain management, the consequences of cachexia and anorexia may be ignored, to the detriment of the patient's quality of life and his or her potential response to chemotherapy. The importance of a well-defined therapeutic strategy to treat cachexia is in order if the patient's overall wellbeing is to improve. Presented is a review of the pharmacological management of anorexia and cachexia, including a four-step ladder approach to medical management.

Published online: 13 March 2000