Infuse Issue 11 May 2020 - Page 22

ADVERTORIAL Supported by Nestlé Health Science Nutrition support for people living with cancer – an oncology dietitian’s perspective by Jacqueline Baker, Senior Oncology Dietitian at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse W hether personally or professionally, cancer has likely touched us all. It is no secret that people with cancer can face significant difficulties eating and drinking enough to maintain weight, hydration and overall nutritional status. The challenges come from multiple fronts. Sometimes it’s mechanical, with the location of a cancer itself preventing adequate intake. Sometimes treatment-related side effects can impact upon a person’s ability to eat and drink; despite advancements in oncology treatments, with new chemotherapy agents, targeted therapies, surgical innovations and immunotherapy, side effects can be highly distressing. © Dietitian Connection Some that impact oral intake include dysgeusia (taste alterations), mucositis, dysphagia, nausea, vomiting, xerostomia (dry mouth), pain, fatigue, anorexia, diarrhoea and constipation. Additionally, some of the treatments themselves can increase nutrition requirements, particularly for protein and energy. 22 Infuse | May 2020