An evaluation of the prevalence of malnutrition in cancer patients attending the outpatient oncology clinic
Article first published online: 10 MAY 2006
Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology
Volume 2, Issue 2, pages 80–86, June 2006
How to Cite
READ, J. A., CHOY, S. B., BEALE, P. and CLARKE, S. J. (2006), An evaluation of the prevalence of malnutrition in cancer patients attending the outpatient oncology clinic. Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2: 80–86. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-7563.2006.00048.x
- Issue published online: 10 MAY 2006
- Article first published online: 10 MAY 2006
- Accepted for publication 15 January 2006.
Background: The aim of the study was to assess the nutritional status of cancer patients attending the medical oncology outpatient setting for the first time.
Methods: One-hundred and forty-one patients (87 males, 54 females) were assessed by a dietitian, using the nutrition assessment tool, the Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA). Tumor types included colorectal, head and neck, lung, pancreatic, gastric or esophageal cancer. No patient had previously received chemotherapy.
Results: Forty-eight (34%) patients were well nourished (PG-SGA rating A), 79 (56%) patients were at risk of malnutrition (B), and 14 (10%) patients were malnourished (C). The median PG-SGA score was 7. There were no significant differences in nutritional status between those > 65 years and those ≤ 65 years. The highest PG-SGA scores (indicating a greater nutritional risk) were found in patients with gastric, pancreatic and oesophageal cancers. There were significant differences found between certain cancer groups using the PG-SGA, however, these were not detected using other more commonly used criteria, such as the body mass index (BMI).
Conclusion: This study confirms that the majority of new patients with cancer presenting to a medical oncologist are at risk of malnutrition or malnourished. It calls for better screening, and adequate nutrition intervention in patients who are about to be considered for systemic treatment.