Assessment and management of malnutrition in patients with lung cancer
Intended for healthcare professionals
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Assessment and management of malnutrition in patients with lung cancer

Mhairi Donald Macmillan consultant dietitian, Sussex Cancer Centre, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton
Diana Borthwick Clinical nurse specialist, Edinburgh Cancer Centre

Malnutrition is common in patients with cancer and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Many patients with lung cancer have multiple disease-related symptoms, which, along with the effect of treatment and the psychological distress of diagnosis, are likely to affect their nutritional status and overall quality of life.

This article outlines the consequences of malnutrition in patients with lung cancer and the effect of treatment options on nutritional status. It explores identification and management of malnutrition in patients, including the early use of nutritional screening and the provision of nutritional support such as dietary counselling and modification, oral nutritional supplements, and enteral and parenteral nutrition. A nutritional care pathway is outlined, which aims to help nurses and other healthcare professionals adopt an evidence-based, best practice approach to nutritional care for patients with lung cancer. The importance of the lung cancer clinical nurse specialist in nutritional screening and support is highlighted.

Cancer Nursing Practice. 15, 8, 27-31. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2016.e1345


Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

The production of the nutritional care pathway and supporting patient/carer materials discussed in this article was made possible by an unrestricted educational grant from Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition. Mhairi Donald was a member of the discussion panel that compiled the guide. The views expressed are the authors’ and not those of Nutricia

Received: 12 August 2016

Accepted: 19 September 2016

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