Malnutrition in Patients with Cancer: An Often Overlooked and Undertreated Problem

February 2014 Vol 5, No 1

Patients with cancer face many challenges, including eating well to maintain a good nutritional status and avoid weight loss and malnutrition. Research shows that the majority of patients with cancer suffer from nutritional deficits, and up to 85% of patients with certain cancer types experience some form of weight loss and/or malnutrition during their cancer treatment.1 For some patients, the nutritional deficits can progress to cancer cachexia, a specific form of malnutrition characterized by loss of lean body mass, muscle wasting, and impaired immune, physical, and mental function.2 Poor nutritional status and weight loss can lead to poor outcomes for patients, including decreased quality of life, decreased functional status, increased complication rates, and treatment disruptions.1,3,4 Fortunately, early nutrition intervention can improve patients

Last modified: November 5, 2020

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