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Nutrition in Cancer Care

Katayoun Moini

Key points

• Specialized medical nutrition therapy is a crucial component of medical management in the oncology patient.

• Early identification of nutrition related side effects during cancer treatment is an essential component of tailored and individualized medical nutrition therapy.

• Early and ongoing nutrition assessment is necessary to identify macro and micronutrient needs.

Introduction

Food: We all need it, crave it, and rarely go a day without it. So why do we allow patients with life-altering disease processes, undergoing invasive therapies, go days, weeks, and even months without adequate nourishment? Would a coach allow an elite athlete to perform even one day without proper nourishment? Would a parent allow a child to not eat for days? Would you be okay with a job that did not allow you to eat during work hours? Instead of using common sense, we turn to studies to validate whether or not it is acceptable for our patients to not receive nourishment.

The importance of individualized nutrition support for patients with cancer cannot be overemphasized. Good nutrition is necessary for our patients to achieve positive outcomes and improved quality of life.


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