, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 27-35,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 22 Feb 2011

Nutritional screening and early treatment of malnutrition in cancer patients

Abstract

Background

Malnutrition is a frequent complication in patients with cancer and can negatively affect the outcome of treatments. On the other hand, side effects of anticancer therapies can also lead to inadequate nutrient intake and subsequent malnutrition. The nutritional screening aims to identify patients at risk of malnutrition for prompt treatment and/or careful follow-up.

Methods and results

This manuscript highlights the need of an interdisciplinary approach (oncologist, nutritionist, dietitian, psychologist, etc.) to empower patients who are experiencing loss of physiological and biological function, fatigue, malnutrition, psychological distress, etc., as a result of cancer disease or its treatment, and maintain an acceptable quality of life.

Conclusions

It is necessary to make all healthcare professionals aware of the opportunity to identify cancer patients at risk of malnutrition early in order to plan the best possible intervention and follow-up during cancer treatment and progression.