Oncology couple walking


Oncology couple walking

Krzysztof’s story

 “I had ignored the symptoms for a long time but finally I couldn’t manage them anymore. I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. During my illness, my appetite was gone. I was 74kg when I went into hospital – it was so scary.

I saw a leaflet in the hospital about medical nutrition, so my wife asked the nurse about it. The nurse said it could help. The increase in my appetite was a breakthrough. I soon began to eat normally again. The increase of appetite restored my love for life.”

“The increase of appetite restored my love for life.”

Krzysztof - Poland

An introduction to cancer and weight loss

Cancer is a term used to group together a set of diseases that can affect almost any part of our body; it will affect around 1 in 2 people during their lifetimes.A cancer diagnosis can be a life-changing event for both the patient and their loved ones. Both the disease and its treatment can be extremely demanding on the body, taking away strength when the body needs to be at its strongest.5

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Cancer and weight loss

Keeping physically strong during cancer can be tough; the side effects of the disease and its treatment can take a toll on the body, negatively affecting appetite, the way we taste food and even the way our body absorbs nutrients. For many cancer patients (30-80%6) this leads to weight loss. Importantly, the majority of the weight lost by cancer patients is muscle7 – or ‘lean body mass’ – the protective tissue needed to keep the body strong and withstand treatment. Losing a significant amount of weight can even delay treatment8-10.

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The role of medical nutrition in cancer care

Weight loss during cancer, particularly loss of lean body mass, can have a negative impact on the health of a patient, increasing the rate of complications and affecting the success of both treatment and recovery11-13. It is therefore important that cancer patients maintain weight to give themselves the best chance possible. When eating and drinking become difficult due to the disease and/or treatment side effects, medical nutrition may be prescribed by a healthcare professional and can help by delivering all the nutrition a patient needs to support weight14-16.

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Nutricia adult oncology female patient

ESMO launches new clinical guidelines for management of cachexia

Cancer cachexia is common can have a negative impact on patient outcomes. New ESMO guidelines endorse the use of nutritional management as an integral part of cancer care, particularly in the treatment of malnutrition and cachexia.

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Nutricia's role in oncology

Nutricia works hard to make a positive and proven difference to patients' lives, by supporting patients, carers and societies throughout their journey with cancer and helping to deliver a better quality of life. We do so by collaborating with societies like ESSO (European Society for Surgical Oncology), ESMO (The European Society for Medical Oncology), ESPEN (European Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition), hospitals and cancer patients.


Nutrison range

Our Oncology products

The Nutricia products shown from this point onwards are intended for the nutritional management of diseases and related medical conditions and therefore should be used under medical supervision.

Taste alterations

Up to 70% of cancer patients experience a change in the way they taste food, often as a result of their treatment. Find out more about this often-overlooked issue and how it can affect nutritional intake in cancer patients.

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Cancer-related malnutrition and loss of lean body mass (‘cachexia’) are common and associated with poor outcomes for the patient. Find out more about the causes and consequences, as well as the aim of nutritional interventions

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Consequences of weight loss during cancer

Weight loss can affect the success of treatment [4]. At Danone Nutricia Research, we work with cancer specialists, academic institutions, as well as cancer patients themselves, in order to develop nutritional solutions that address patients’ needs.