Management of cancer cachexia.AACN Clin Issues 2000; 11(4):590-603AC
The diagnosis of cancer has traditionally been associated with malnutrition and wasting. Oncology patients are at risk for nutrition-related problems because of the cancer itself, as well as the treatment prescribed. Clinical manifestations of cachexia include anorexia, weight loss, muscle wasting, and fatigue, resulting in poor performance status. Control of symptoms, such as anorexia, nausea and vomiting, and mucositis is imperative in the management of cancer cachexia. Current pharmacologic therapies, as well as complementary and alternative methods, are presented. The nurse plays a key role in ensuring that the nutritional needs of oncology patients are met.