Sunday 20 October 2019

Many cancer patients not getting care for weight loss

(stock image) Photo: PA
(stock image) Photo: PA
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

A third of cancer patients suffer unintentional weight loss - but many never see a dietitian.

The findings, from the large-scale survey of more than 1,000 patients undergoing treatment, are a concern because poor nutritional intake and weight loss while suffering from cancer is associated with higher risks of complications, poorer response to treatments like chemotherapy and even reduced survival.

The study was conducted by the Irish Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (Irspen) in collaboration with University College Cork.

Irspen director and nutrition consultant Niamh Rice said that the findings indicated a major gap in cancer care that needed to be addressed.

"This is a critical concern and we are calling on all healthcare professionals working with cancer patients to pay greater attention to nutritional problems such as loss of appetite," she said.

Irish Independent

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