“What Should I Eat?”—Addressing Questions and Challenges Related to Nutrition in the Integrative Oncology Setting

Moshe Frenkel, Kenneth J. Sapire, Judith Lacey, Catherine Zollman, Victor S. Sierpina

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose of Review: This review aims to assess how nutrition can be addressed in the integrative oncology setting, taking into account cancer patients’ unmet needs as they relate to nutrition in cancer care and the evidence-based information that is available on this topic. Recent Findings: During and after cancer treatment, nutrition is an important component of supportive care, for patients and their family members. Current scientific data consistently show that poor nutrition can reduce survival and decrease adherence to cancer treatments. Unfortunately, the limited availability of dietitians makes access to individualized nutrition counseling challenging, and many cancer patients still do not receive adequate nutritional support. As a result, one of the main unmet needs of patients and their families through the whole cancer trajectory is accessible and up-to-date evidence-based nutritional counseling that emphasizes basic healthy nutrition. The popularity of complementary and integrative medicine among patients with cancer makes the integrative oncology setting an excellent avenue for providing such support. A suggested simple approach that utilizes World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research and American Cancer Society basic information is described. This approach can be easily incorporated into integrative oncology settings, while reserving the role for the registered dietician to address underweight patients, patients with malnutrition, and patients with more complicated dietary situations. Summary: The integrative oncology setting is in a unique place in oncology that can be utilized for enhancing dissemination of healthy nutrition information and addressing the unmet needs expressed by patients and families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1557-1567
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Oncology Reports
Volume24
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2022

Keywords

  • Cancer care
  • Complementary medicine
  • Dietary sugar
  • Integrative medicine
  • Integrative oncology
  • Nutrition
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Organic food
  • Unmet needs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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