Malnutrition poses a significant problem for oncology patients, resulting in fatalities within this population. Patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) are at high risk, with up to 90% developing malnutrition. Common treatments used for HNC can often lead to adverse side effects, including oral health conditions, gastrointestinal upsets, and several metabolic changes. Consequently, treatments can cause inadequate nutritional intake, resulting in a reduction in energy consumption, and alterations in energy utilization, contributing to the development of malnutrition. Furthermore, the presence of these treatment toxicities, and the related malnutrition can lead to reduced quality of life, weight loss, and psychological distress. There are interventions available (nutritional, medicinal, and physical therapies) that have demonstrated potential effectiveness in reducing the severity of symptomatic toxicities, reducing the risk of malnutrition, and improving survival outcomes of patients with HNC. Based on the findings of this review, there is an urgent need for the implementation or continuation of multi-disciplinary strategies, as well as updated and improved guidelines to assist in the prevention and treatment of malnutrition caused by treatment-related toxicities in patients with HNC.
|Number of pages
|European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education
|Published - 2 Oct 2020