Handbook of Disease Burdens and Quality of Life Measures pp 2947-2964 | Cite as
Cancer: Influence of Nutrition on Quality of Life
Cancer and its treatment result in a deterioration of patient’s physical, psychological and social well-being. It has a direct impact on the metabolism resulting in an impaired use of the nutrients provided by the food intake. Malnutrition is typically found in oncology patients and results in a reduced response to the oncology treatment, increased morbidity and a decrease of quality of life (QoL). QoL is a concept for the evaluation of the patients’ well being in all aspects of their life. Hence QoL can be used to assess the impact of the cancer treatment in terms of what matters to patients.
This chapter aims to show how nutritional treatment can improve the QoL. In order to promote this objective, nutritional care should be part of the oncology care. The optimal nutritional care is based on the balance between the patient’s nutritional requirements and food intake. Nutritional care can be provided by different means: nutritional counseling, oral nutritional supplementation, enteral nutrition and parenteral nutrition. The focus of the nutritional care differs if the patient’s undergo curative or palliative oncology treatment. In curative treatment, the nutritional intervention aims for an increased tolerance of and response to the treatment, increased immune function, decreased rate of complications and hence a decreased length of hospital stay. In palliative treatment, nutritional intervention is focused on the “management” of symptoms, delaying the loss of autonomy and improving their QoL. The evaluation of the QoL gives the possibility to integrate the patient’s needs and expectations to the oncology care.
KeywordsNutritional Status Enteral Nutrition Total Parenteral Nutrition Nutritional Intervention Early Satiety
List of Abbreviations:
Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis
Home Parenteral Nutrition
Oral Nutritional Supplements
Percutaneus Endoscopic Gastrostomy
Quality of life
Resting Energy Expenditure
Subjective Global Assessment
Total Parenteral Nutrition
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