An evaluation of the prevalence of malnutrition in cancer patients attending the outpatient oncology clinic

Blackwell Publishing
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Aisa-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2006, 2 pp. 80 - 86
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The aim of the study was to assess the nutritional status of cancer patients attending the medical oncology outpatients setting for the first time. 141 patients (86 males, 54 females) were assessed by a dietitian, using the nutrition assessment tool, the Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessement (PG-SGA). Tumor types included colorectal, head and neck, lung, pancreatic, gastric or esophageal cancer. No patient had previously received chemotherapy. Forty-eight (34%) patients were well nourished (PG-SGA rating A), 79 (56%) patients were at risk of malnutrition (B), and 14 (10%) patients were malnourished (C). The median PG-SGA score was 7. There were no significsant difference in nutritional status between those >65 years and thos <65 years. The highest PG-SGA scores (indicating a greater nutritional risk) were found between certain cancer groups using the PG-SGA however, these were not detected using other more commonly used cirteria, such as the body mass index (BMI). This study confirms that the majority of new patients with cancer presenting to a medical oncologist are at risk of malnutrition or malnourished. It calls for better screening and adequate nutrition intervention in patients who are about to be considered for systemic treatment.
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