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Nutrición Hospitalaria

versión On-line ISSN 1699-5198versión impresa ISSN 0212-1611


MARIN CARO, Mª; LAVIANO, A.; PICHARD, C.  y  GOMEZ CANDELA, C.. Relationship between nutritional intervention and quality of life in cancer patients. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2007, vol.22, n.3, pp.337-350. ISSN 1699-5198.

Quality of life (QOL) is a concept assessing physical, psychological and social factors which are influencing the patients' well being. Cancer and its therapy induce severe metabolic changes associated with QOL impairment. These alterations contribute to an increased energy wasting and a decreased food intake. Besides, it may lead to tumoral cachexia due to the complex interactions between pro-inflammatory cytokines and the host metabolism. On the other hand, and beyond physical impairments and metabolic effects from cancer, patients often suffer from psychological stress, such as depression. A nutritional intervention should be implemented as soon as cancer is diagnosed. It should be appropriate to the individual needs of the patient, considering the type of oncologic treatment (whether it is curative or palliative), the clinical conditions and the nutritional status. The aim is to reduce or even revert nutritional status impairment, improve the general condition, and subsequently improve quality of life. The primary focus of nutritional intervention accompanying oncologic treatment intended to cure is on the optimization of the balance between energy waste and food intake. Thus trying to achieve further specific purposes such as a decrease of rate of complications and an amelioration of the response and tolerance to the oncologic therapy. The purpose of nutritional support in palliative care is controlling the symptoms related to food intake and delaying the loss of autonomy. And by this means maintaining or improving patients' QOL. It is corraborated by a literature review, that nutritional therapy should form part of the integral oncological support since it contributes considerably to a QOL improvement. Because of the possibility to identify the patients' needs and expectations by assessing their QOL it should be generally included into their nutritional evaluation to be able to tailor the adequate nutritional support.

Palabras clave : Cancer; Quality of life; Malnutrition; Weight loss; Body composition; Nutritional assessment; Curative oncologic therapy; Palliative oncologic therapy; Nutritional support; Oral nutritional supplementation; Nutritional counseling.

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