Cancer patients frequently suffer from malnutrition and metabolic derangements whether due to their tumour itself or the effects of anticancer therapies. Malnutrition is associated with poorer prognosis [1, 2] as it can limit the response to anticancer therapies. In addition, metabolic derangements like obesity and insulin resistance are associated with increased risks of cancer recurrence [3, 4].
The European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) and the European Partnership for Action Against Cancer (EPAAC) have developed evidence-based guidelines  based on current best evidence and expert opinion to improve early detection and treatment of malnutrition and metabolic derangements in cancer patients and cancer survivors; to provide guidance to health care workers and patients on the most appropriate and effective management of nutritional and metabolic problems in cancer patients; and, by this, to lower the incidence and impact of malnutrition and metabolic derangements in cancer patients and survivors.
Two guidelines were specifically aimed at cancer survivors:
Recent reviews [6, 7] indicate obesity and metabolic syndrome may be independent risk factors for cancer recurrence and reduced survival in breast and gastric cancer cases. In addition cancer survivors are significantly more likely to develop second primary cancers and chronic diseases e.g. cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. It is perhaps even more important then that this group of patients are nutritionally assessed and supported to make healthy food choices and be physically active.
This article was originally published in The SCPN Newsletter Volume 8, Issue 2. Read the digital newsletter below using Issuu, or feel free to download the PDF.View the PDF