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ESMO E-Learning: Pathophysiology and Management of Cancer Cachexia

Cancer cachexia is a multifactorial syndrome characterised by weight loss and body composition alterations that cannot be restored by conventional nutritional support.

Cachexia is present in 80% of cancer patients at the end-stage of the disease. It is also a major cause of death in that setting. Frequency at diagnosis depends on the primary site of tumour. Timely diagnosis is important and should be based on nutritional screening questionnaires and body composition analysis.

A multidisciplinary approach to the problem is necessary. The treatment of cancer cachexia should correct all reversible causes of reduced food intake, provide timely nutritional consultation/intervention, involve personalized exercise training programmes, appreciate the fact that there is no standard drug therapy and motivate patients to entry into clinical trials.

ESMO E-Learning: Pathophysiology and Management of Cancer Cachexia

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