Nutritional Problems in Patients with Advanced Cancer
In order to determine the incidence of nutrition related signs and symptoms, a prospective study of 100 patients with advanced cancer was conducted using a standardized nutrition assessment tool. The patients were admitted to The Hospice of the Cleveland Clinic. The group was comprised of 42 males and 58 females, with a median age of 70 and a range of 24 to 92 years. Common primary sites were lung (20%), breast (13%), pancreas (8%), colorectal (7%), and prostate (7%). Common gastrointestinal symptoms were weight loss (79%), early satiety (70%), anorexia (67%), constipation (46%), xerostomia (41%), and taste changes (40%). Data were analyzed for relationships between occurrence of nutritional problems and primary site, gender, age, and weight loss (including percentage of usual body weight lost and acuity of weight loss, or weight lost over time), as well as relationships among nutrition related signs and symptoms.