The objective of this infographic is to raise awareness on the burden of malnutrition among cancer patients and to call for the integration of nutritional care in cancer treatment.
The infographic is an educational tool on the burden of malnutrition among cancer patients. This is to be used in particular in the context of the Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. ONCA/ENHA members are free to use this infographic to reach decision-makers at EU and national level to call for the integration of nutritional care in cancer care.
1 in 3 cancer patients is malnourished. Malnutrition in cancer patients results in poorer health outcomes, such as reduced tolerance to anticancer therapy, higher risk of complications and infections, as well as increased mortality.
Furthermore, malnutrition leads to an increased burden on healthcare resources, including longer hospital stay and additional costs, estimated to be €17 billion per year in the European Union. Nutritional care should be considered as an integral part of disease management in order to reduce healthcare expenditure.
The MNI infographic “Cancer care: why nutrition matters” outlines why nutritional care is important for cancer patients and provides five recommendations to advance cancer care:
- Screen all cancer patients for malnutrition to provide nutritional care in a timely manner
- Implement existing clinical guidelines on nutritional care for cancer patients
- Provide equal access to and reimbursement of medical nutrition to cancer patients
- Establish multidisciplinary teams in oncology, including a dietitian or registered nutritionist
- Educate healthcare professionals and patient advocates, and inform cancer patients on the importance of a good nutrition status in cancer care.
Better nutritional status in cancer patients contributes to improved tolerance to chemotherapy, faster recovery and higher survival rate. Good nutritional care can deliver better health outcomes and save costs.