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Medical nutrition

Malnutrition in Cancer

We strive to make a positive and proven difference in people's lives, by supporting patients, carers and societies throughout the cancer journey

People with cancer can become malnourished for many  reasons:

This includes reduced food intake, malabsorption, metabolic disturbances and abnormal inflammatory responses.1 Some of these can be to do with the cancer itself, while others are related to medication, treatment and / or side effects.

Between 30 to 90% of people with cancer become malnourished during the course of their illness, depending on the type, location, stage of the tumour and treatment2.

Some side effects of treatment can affect a person’s eating habits. Nausea can be common and cause a loss of appetite and taste changes can make certain foods less appealing. As a result, people with cancer undergoing treatment may eat less and may find it hard to eat a variety of foods to meet their nutritional requirements.

Malnutrition in cancer is associated with weight loss, reduced quality of life, increased morbidity and mortality, and a poorer response to cancer treatment.1

The goal of nutritional treatment for people with cancer is to improve function and outcomes

Nutrition support in cancer

Cancer treatment can be very demanding on the body. The goal of nutritional treatment for people with cancer is to improve function and outcomes by preventing and treating malnutrition, enhancing treatment effects, reducing adverse effects of treatment and improving quality of life. Nutrition support may help to meet the extra energy and nutrient requirements associated with cancer.

Nutricia is at the forefront of medical nutrition and we are proud of our reputation as pioneers within this field. We strive to make a positive and proven difference in people's lives, by supporting patients, carers and societies throughout the cancer journey and helping deliver a better quality of life through the provision of nutrition support which can complement normal dietary intake.

Disclaimer: Nutricia oral nutritional supplements are foods for special medical purposes and should only be used under medical supervision.


1. Stratton et al. (2003) Disease-related malnutrition: an evidence based approach to treatment. Wallingford: CABI Publishing.
2. Nitenberg et al. (2000) Nutritional support of the cancer patient: issues and dilemmas. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 34:137-68.
3. Andreyev et al. (1998) Why do patients with weight loss have a worse outcome when undergoing chemotherapy for gastrointestinal malignancies? Eur J Cancer 34: 503-9.
4. Arends et al. (2006) ESPEN Guidelines on enteral nutrition: non-surgical oncology. Clin Nutr 25:245-59.