Clinical Case Database / Category: Clinical Care

Nutrition in cancer patients

Publication details

Dr Mahmoud Ali Zohree Ali, Dr Paul Ross
Foundation Years Journal, volume 6, issue 9, p.46 (123Doc Education, London, October 2012)


Patients with cancer suffer a variety of symptoms. Cancer-associated malnutrition is one of the most common symptoms encountered. It can result from the systemic and local effects of a tumour, the host response to the tumour or advanced anticancer therapies (surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, biological immunotherapy and hormonal treatment). Cachexia often occurs in advanced cancer. It is a multifactorial syndrome characterized by anorexia accompanied by generalized host tissue wasting, skeletal muscle atrophy, immune dysfunction, and metabolic derangements. Cancer patients therefore have the double burden of fighting cancerous cells and finding ways of replacing damaged cells. Although cancer patients often have reduced food intake, alterations in metabolism and resting energy expenditure may also contribute to their nutritional status. Several agents produced in response to the tumour, such as pro-inflammatory cytokines and hormones, have been implicated in the pathogenesis of malnutrition and cachexia.

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Dr Mahmoud Ali Zohree Ali

Clinical Fellow Medical Oncology
Guys Hospital

Dr Paul Ross

Consultant Medical Oncology
Medical Oncology Department
Guys Hospital


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3. Albrecht JT, Canada TW: Cachexia and anorexia in malignancy. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am 10 (4): 791-800, 1996.


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