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The best cancer therapy may not help without proper nutrition

MedExpress Team


Published April 12, 2023 09:10

The best cancer therapy may not help without proper nutrition - Header image
Supplying a cancer patient's body with adequate amounts of essential nutrients can be difficult for a number of reasons. As a result, at least one in three cancer patients struggle with malnutrition. To raise awareness of this problem, the Nutricia Foundation, together with the EuropaColon Poland Foundation, has launched a series of educational webinars called "Without nutrition there is no treatment."

Between 30% and 85% of cancer patients experience symptoms of malnutrition or cachexia. The risk of malnutrition itself is present in virtually every type of cancer, with the highest risk in patients with upper gastrointestinal cancers - esophageal, gastric, pancreatic, as well as colorectal and head and neck cancers. Many factors contribute to the development of malnutrition. The main one is the disease and its consequences related to loss of appetite, gastrointestinal complaints, impaired swallowing, and difficulty in preparing and eating meals independently.

- Every oncology patient, especially those diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancer, should undergo a nutritional screening. It is in gastrointestinal cancers that malnutrition affects up to more than 80% of patients," stresses Iga Rawicka, president of the EuropaColon Poland Foundation, which works to raise public awareness of gastrointestinal cancers.

While proper nutrition should be considered an indispensable part of the healing process, this is not always the case. Meanwhile, when a sick or convalescent patient is unable to meet his or her, often increased, nutritional requirements with a traditional diet, he or she may be at risk ...

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