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Lori Gardner, Senior Director
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For Immediate Release: March 10, 2010
Malnutrition Common Among Cancer Patients, But Screening Not Routine
ROCKVILLE, Md.—Although malnutrition is common among cancer patients at some point in their treatment, malnutrition screening is not applied to all patients routinely throughout treatment.
A special presentation at the Association of Community Cancer Centers' (ACCC's) 36th Annual National Meeting on March 19, 2010, in Baltimore, Md., will explore the issue of oncology nutrition intervention and assess how well cancer centers are screening their cancer patients for malnutrition.
"Twenty to 80 percent of cancer patients develop malnutrition," said presenter Rhone Levin, MEd, RD, LD, CSO. "Malnutrition is a prognostic indicator for weight loss, treatment breaks, side effects, and recurrence of disease."
Ms. Levin will explore how to best create a "culture of nutrition" in cancer programs, where medical nutrition therapy is applied at the right time in patient care, where registered dietitians are most effectively used, and where nutrition assessment and intervention are optimally applied. She is an oncology dietitian at Mountain States Tumor Institute/St. Lukes Regional Medical Center in Boise, Idaho.
"Use of a standardized nutrition screening process applied routinely to oncology patients is essential for a well-rounded oncology nutrition program," said Levin.
Good nutrition can decrease rates of infection, speed healing and shorten hospitalizations, increase tolerance to treatment and response to treatment, and decrease complications.