REVIEW PAPER
Malnutrition in oncologic patients – the role of diet in recovery
 
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Gdański Uniwersytet Medyczny, Polska
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Patrycja Gogga   

Gdański Uniwersytet Medyczny, Dębinki 7, 80-211, Gdańsk, Polska
 
 
KEYWORDS
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ABSTRACT
Introduction:
Malignant neoplasms are one of the main causes of mortality in Poland. Cancer is closely associated with a high risk of malnutrition. Symptoms of malnutrition affect from 10% to 90% of patients. It is also a direct cause of death in 20% of cancer patients.

Objective:
The aim of the study was to present the causes and consequences of malnutrition, and the importance of the patient’s nutritional status for the efficacy of oncologic treatment and improvement in the patient’s quality of life.

Brief description of the state of knowledge:
Malnutrition should to be diagnosed as soon as possible and treated by established standards. The European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism published new criteria for diagnosing malnutrition. Nutritional risk is determined by screening, and if the result is positive, further diagnostic procedures are carried out. Undiagnosed and untreated malnutrition leads to significant health and economic implications, and adversely affects the functioning of each organ. This, in turn, results in a worse survival rate and an increase in treatment costs. Metabolic and non-metabolic factors may be the cause of malnutrition in cancer patients. Numerous scientific societies emphasise the role of nutritional intervention in patients with cancer. Appropriate nutritional support positively affects the clinical outcomes of oncologic patients and shortens hospitalization.

Conclusions:
The problem of disease-related malnutrition is still a neglected subject, although evidence of the benefits of nutritional interventions is constantly increasing. There is an urgent need for action to improve cancer patient’s nutritional status and therefore the results of their treatment and the quality of life

 
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