Nutricia supports World Cancer Day 2024

At Nutricia we know the importance of appropriate nutritional support at each step of the cancer journey. Cancer and its treatment can change the way your food tastes, the way you eat, and how well your body uses nutrients. 

Did you know that…

  • Up to 65% of patients with cancer will be affected by malnutrition at some point during their disease1?
  • 64% of patients report having nutrition problems such appetite loss, nausea, dry mouth2?
  • 83% of cancer patients consider nutrition to have an important role during treatment and recovery2?

Learn more about other oncology patients' experience through a recent survey with 700 European patients:

Good nutrition is an essential part of overall cancer care. It helps to keep your body strong throughout treatment and into recovery, just when it needs to be at its strongest. Continue reading and discover why nutrition matters.

Meet Jonathan Clark

This year we bring you Jonathan Clark’s story, a husband, father and businessman who endured two instances of mantle cell lymphoma. He also found that the chemotherapy caused frequent taste changes, with the food and drink that he’d enjoyed starting to taste unpleasant. His desire to eat diminished entirely, yet he knew that regular eating was an important part of his recovery.

Learn More about taste changes:


How can you take action? Check for signs and start the conversation!

Weight loss is one of the most common side effects of cancer. Between 30% and 80% of patients may lose weight at some point during their disease3. For people, who have struggled to manage weight, this weight loss might seem to be a positive thing but when undergoing cancer treatment is not the right time. It's essential to recognize that weight loss can encompass both fat and muscle. When patients with cancer lose weight, they mostly lose the strong, protective muscle tissue needed to help fight cancer and withstand treatment, rather than fat tissue.' There are lots of reasons why you could lose weight and muscle mass when going through cancer. Before and especially during treatment, you may not feel like eating or drinking because of a lack of appetite, mouth ulcers, nausea, vomiting, or taste changes and fatigue. 


Taste and smell changes are extremely common, affecting up to 70% of people with cancer during treatment4. These taste and smell changes matter because they interfere with enjoyment of eating and drinking and cause you to eat and drink less than normal – meaning that your body doesn’t get all the nutrition it needs5,6

Without adequate nutrition, your body will be less able to cope with cancer and its treatments, therefore supporting nutritional status can contribute to a successful treatment.

If you are worried about unexplained weight loss or a poor appetite, either for yourself or for someone you care for, here are some things you can do:

  1. Regularly check and keep track of your weight and appetite.
  2. Check if you are at nutritional risk by using simple tool such as:
    Self Screening Tool for Malnutrition
  3. Eating a wide variety of foods gives us the nutrients you need including vitamins, minerals, calorie and protein dense food
  4. Try small, frequent meals or snacks instead (say every 2 hours) and make the most of when you feel hungry
  5. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember what you’ve eaten or how you were feeling. To help you keep track of good days and not so good days try using the:
    Wellbeing Diary
  6. Discuss your concerns with a healthcare professional

If you or a loved one are struggling to eat and drink or are experiencing weight loss, or are noticing changes in your taste, talk to your healthcare professional. The healthcare team can help you identify the underlying cause and provide tailored guidance to address your concerns.

Remember that unintentional weight loss is never a normal part of life, and it's important to address it promptly during cancer. Don't let nutritional concerns take a backseat during cancer – let’s close the cancer care gap with nutrition!

Learn more about the role of medical nutrition in cancer care:

Start the conversation!​

You don’t need to wait to be asked about your diet: It’s ok for you to start the conversation about eating and drinking. Speak with your doctor, nurse, or dietitian if you notice any of the above symptoms or side effects or if you notice that you are losing weight, skipping meals or are unable to eat as much as you could before your diagnosis. It’s important to raise any concerns that you have regarding nutrition. Multi-disciplinary teams, including oncologists, nurses and dietitians, are key and can support you during this journey.


Take a look at the World Cancer Day Organization (WCD) website to learn more and discover how to take action:

  1. Hebuterne et al. JPEN. 2014;38(2):196-204
  2. Ipsos European Oncology Patient Survey, 2023. Data on file
  3. Ryan et al. Proc Nutr Soc. 2016;75(2):199-211.
  4. Spotten LE, Corish CA, Lorton CM, et al. Subjective and objective taste and smell changes in cancer. Ann Oncol. 2017;28:969-84.
  5. Brisbois TD, de Kock IH, Watanabe SM, et al. Characterization of chemosensory alterations in advanced cancer reveals specific chemosensory phenotypes impacting dietary intake and quality of life. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2011;41:673-83.
  6. Ruo Redda MG, Allis S. Radiotherapy-induced taste impairment. Cancer Treat Rev. 2006;32:541-7.
  7. Ryan AM, Prado CM, Sullivan ES, et al: Effects of weight loss and sarcopenia on response to chemotherapy, quality of life, and survival. Nutr. 2019; 67-68: 110539.

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