During treatment for cancer, your body may require additional nutritional requirements due to the cancer itself and side effects from treatment, which can impact your nutritional intake and therefore weight and nutrition status. 


Unintentional and rapid weight loss due to cancer and/or treatment can lead to malnutrition. Malnutrition can lead to a reduction in response to your treatment and increase hospital admissions. 

 “Loss of skeletal muscle with or without loss of fat is the main aspect of cancer-associated malnutrition and predicts risk of physical impairment, post-operative complications, chemotherapy toxicity and mortality”

Understanding the right nutrients to support your body is crucial in preventing malnutrition and in the management of appetite and eating changes. 

 In conjunction with the medical and allied health team a Dietitian can provide alternate feeding options to prevent weight changes and associated muscle protein reduction. 

 Does the below sound like you?

Your dietitian can evaluate this exact intake compared to your energy and nutrition requirements.

“Inadequate nutritional intake is defined as “when a patient cannot eat for more than a week or if the estimated energy intake is <60% for more than 1-2 weeks”.

Frequent clinician contact improves clinical outcomes in patients with cancer

“Nutrition counselling is effective both during phases of active treatment and supportive care. A minimum of fortnightly sessions have demonstrated effective health outcomes”

Understanding your diagnosis and maximising nutritional intervention opportunities

Working with an Accredited Practising Dietitian, we can ensure you are achieving the right nutrition to maintain optimal weight and nutrition status to further amplify your response to treatment and prevent treatment interruptions, improving quality of life. 

This involves…

  • Nutrition screening & assessment (assessment of weight and malnutrition status)

  • Personalising advice based on a patients’ biological needs (identifying nutrition risks)

  • Testing & evaluating clinical nutritional impact symptoms and providing practical tips for common treatment side effects (gut discomfort, swallowing, appetite, pain, taste, ulcers) 

  • Provision of appropriate nutrition prescription (energy, protein & micronutrient requirements, including amount, type and timing across the day)

  • Evaluation of self-management tips to help patients achieve their nutritional needs before, during and after treatment

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Written By: Aimee Boidin (Lane Cove, Wahroonga & Hunters Hill Body Fusion Dietitian)

Reference: J.Arends et al / ESPEN Guidelines, Clinical Nutrition (2016).