Nutrition Related Diseases
Cancers are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. At the same time, all types of cancer treatment, such as surgery, radiation therapy, and pharmacological therapies, are rapidly improving. All these treatments, however, are impeded or precluded by the frequent development of malnutrition.
The importance of adequate nutrition cannot be overstated. Cancer patients are in a catabolic state, and their nutritional needs are higher than the general population. Inadequate nutritional intake is often observed in cancer patients; this will lead to weight loss that can be severe. Muscle protein depletion is also often observed in cancer patients; in turn, speed tracks the development of cancer cachexia that negatively impacts treatment tolerance and physical function. Beat Dieticians can offer a body composition assessment (INBODY) to monitor skeletal muscle mass loss and advise cancer patients on how to avoid the loss of muscle mass.
NUTRITIONAL MANAGEMENT OF CANCER PATIENTS:
- Regularly evaluate nutritional status (changes in body fat mass & skeletal muscle mass)
- Early initiation of nutritional interventions to optimise nutritional status
- Maintenance of physical activity to support muscle mass
- Consider appetite enhancing regimens
- Ensure adequate intake of macronutrients
- For all cancer patients undergoing either curative or palliative surgery, we recommend management within an enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) program. Every patient should be screened for malnutrition, and if the patient is identified as being at risk, he/she should receive additional nutritional support.