Cancer diagnosis is a life-changing event for both patients and the people around them. For many reasons, the incidence of cancer is expected to rise over the coming years. An aging population, urbanisation, decrease in exercise, obesity and smoking are all contributing to the increasing numbers.
One of the most common physical changes experienced is weight loss; in fact one in three patients with cancer are likely to lose weight at some point during their illness. There are lots of reasons for this, from reduced food intake due to psychological factors, or physical limitations and metabolic changes caused by the disease and/or its treatment.
The role of nutrition
Patients with cancer can experience a range of nutritional problems, including poor appetite, weight loss and/or swallowing problems. Some of these issues can be caused by the cancer itself, while some are due to the effects of treatment. The links between undernutrition and recovery (‘clinical outcomes’) are well known and include a reduced response to chemotherapy, higher hospital readmission rates and a lower quality of life.
At Nutricia we strive to make a positive and proven difference in patients’ lives, by supporting patients, carers and societies throughout the journey and helping to deliver a better quality of life.