Infuse Issue 11 May 2020 | Page 23

When people are unable to meet their nutrition requirements with food alone, oral nutrition supplements (ONS) can be prescribed. These supplements are nutritionally dense, low volume drinks, and can provide up to 100% of nutrition requirements if required. Choosing the right product involves consideration of clinical requirement, taste, volume, viscosity, tolerance, palatability, patient preferences and nutritional density of the product. Medical nutrition therapy (MNT) is an evidence-based approach to managing chronic medical conditions using an individually-tailored nutrition intervention. The goal of MNT in the oncology patient is to reduce the impact of side effects and provide strategies to meet individual nutrition requirements, to minimise weight loss and the risk of malnutrition. A range of strategies are utilised, including food fortification, tailored dietary education, symptom management, oral nutrition supplement prescription, enteral nutrition and parenteral nutrition. Sometimes diet and ONS are still not adequate. In these cases, enteral and parenteral nutrition can be used. In some treatment modalities, provision of enteral or parental nutrition is standard practice and can be prescribed prior, during or post- surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy. As you can see, nutrition is a major concern for those living with cancer. With such pressure on nutritional status, nutrition support is crucial in the management of people living with cancer. A Dietitian within the multidisciplinary team is paramount to optimise nutrition. Image courtesy of Jacqueline Baker © Dietitian Connection 23 Infuse | May 2020