We are not supporting this browser

Managing malnutrition in Oncology

Identification of malnutrition

Identification of malnutrition through screening is imperative, as recognised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)1 and the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN)2,3. Screening should be performed at the time of diagnosis.

 

Screening for malnutrition using 'MUST'

Need help in screening your patients for malnutrition? Nutricia are developing a free e-learning to support your knowledge of screening and managing malnutrition. Find out more here

 

Early nutritional intevention is key to support patient outcomes

 

Benefit of nutritional intervention on several quality of life aspects during treatment.4

Up to 50% reduction in post-operative complications after pre-operative ONS intervention.5,6

Up to a 3-day reduction in length of hospital stay.6

20% increase in probability of survival following early nutritional intervention and weight gain in some cancer patients.7

Oral nutritional supplements (ONS) play a role in cancer patients' journey

ESPEN (2016)and ESPEN (2021)3 highlight the role that nutritional intevention plays in Oncology patients.

Nutritional interventions are recommended to increase oral intake in cancer patients who are able to eat but are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition. This includes dietary advice, the treatment of symptoms and derangements impairing food intake (nutrition impact symptoms), and offering oral nutritional supplements.

Chemotherapy

“During intensive chemotherapy and after stem cell transplantation ESPEN recommends to maintain physical activity and to ensure adequate nutritional intake. This may require enteral and/or parenteral.” 2,3
 

Radiotherapy

“During radiotherapy with special attention to radiotherapy of the head and neck, thorax and gastrointestinal tract, an adequate intake should be ensured primary by, individualised nutritional counselling and/or oral nutritional supplements (ONS), in order to avoid nutritional deterioration, maintain intake and avoid radiotherapy interruptions.” 2,3

Surgery

“For all cancer patients undergoing either curative or palliative surgery, ESPEN recommends management within an enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) program; within this program every patients should be screened for malnutrition and if deemed at risk, given additional nutritional support.” 2,3
“For those at risk of malnutrition or already malnourished, appropriate nutritional support  is recommended during hospital stay and post discharge.” 3
 

Palliative Care

“ESPEN recommends implementing nutritional interventions in patients with advanced cancer only after considering together with the patient the prognosis of the malignant disease and both the expected benefit on quality of life and potentially survival as well as the burden associated with nutritional care.” 2,3

Watch our Nutrition in Oncology Webinar

This webinar showcases a multi-disciplinary approach to nutritional management in oncology. Together, Emma, a Specialist Dietitian, and Judith, a Specialist Nurse, highlight the prevalence of malnutrition in oncology and the important role nutrition plays.

Screening and effective management of malnutrition can be incorporated into current practice with the Managing Adult Malnutrition in the Community pathway.8

• A practical guide developed by a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) to support Health Care Professionals (HCPs) to identify and manage malnutrition in the community

• Offers clear guidance on screening and first line management and includes a pathway for the appropriate use of ONS, which type of ONS to prescribe, appropriate doses and when to stop the prescription

Visit the Malnutrition Pathway website

Read next

Oncology webinar image

Nutrition in Oncology overview

Nutricia adult oncology female patient

Prevalence of malnutrition in Oncology

FSCP Taste sensations range image

Oral Nutritional Supplements in Oncology

  1. NICE. Nutrition support for adults: oral nutrition support, enteral tube feeding and parenteral nutrition. Clinical Guideline CG32. https://www.nice.org.uk/Guidance/CG32 [Accessed October 2020].
  2. Arends et al. Clin Nutr. 2016;36(1):11-48
  3. Muscaritoli, Arends, Bachmann et al. Clin Nutr. 2021; 40: 2898-2913
  4. Baldwin et al. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2012, 104(5): 371-385
  5. Kabata et al. Support Care Cancer. 2015; 23: 365-370.
  6. Maňásek et al. Klin Onkol. 2016; 29: 351-357.
  7. Trestini et al. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2018;72:772-779
  8. Malnutrition Pathway: A Guide to Managing Adult Malnutrition in the Community. 2017. [Online]. Available from: http://www.malnutritionpathway.co.uk/. [Accessed on: 13.01.21].

You may also be interested in

Nutricia uses cookies on this website. With your consent we will use them to measure and analyze usage of the website (analytical cookies), to tailor it to your interests (personalisational cookies), and to present you relevant advertising and information (targeting cookies). For more information please read the cookie policy.

Privacy Settings

You can choose your preferences anytime for cookies and tracking. For more information please read our cookie policy.

  • Strictly necessary

    They are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services (setting your privacy preferences, logging in, filling in forms, etc.). You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work.

  • Analytical cookies

    They allow us to count visits and traffic sources, to measure and improve the performance of our site. They show us which pages are the most and least popular and how visitors move around the site. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.

  • Personalisation cookies

    They enable website’s enhanced functionality and personalisation. They may be set by us or by third parties whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies, some or all of these services may not function properly.

  • Targeting cookies

    They may be set through our site by our advertising partners, to build a profile of your interests and to show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.