Nutritional care mandatory in cancer care

Emphasing nutrition in cancer treatment is urgent.

Experts urge immediate action to make nutritional care mandatory in cancer care: New evidence supports need for greater emphasis on preventing weight and muscle loss following cancer diagnosis.

On 13 September at the Joint Policy Seminar at ESPEN Congress, renowned European experts from ESPEN, ECPC, ECO and EFAD stressed the vital importance of nutrition for treatment and quality of life of patients with cancer. They called upon stakeholders to join forces to implement optimal nutritional care for all cancer patients and throughout their cancer journey, launching 7 actionable recommendations.

A poor nutritional status can worsen treatment outcomes, cause patients to suffer avoidable complications and reduce their quality of life. It is estimated that the deaths of 10-20% of cancer patients can be attributed to malnutrition rather than to the malignancy itself. Yet, in studies, only 30%-60% of patients found to be at risk of malnutrition received nutritional support. The cost of malnutrition in cancer care in the EU amount to €17B per year.

During the seminar, experts addressed barriers and proposed solutions to the delivery of optimal nutritional care for all throughout the cancer journey.