Samouh, Yassine1; Benider, Abdellatif2; Derfoufi, Sanae1,3
Introduction: Malnutrition is a high risk health complication that occurred with cancer, the deterioration of the nutritional status in cancer patients increases morbidity and mortality, decreases the efficacy and tolerance of oncology treatments and the quality of life. It was thus considered important to evaluate the prevalence of malnutrition, to assess the nutritional knowledge and eating habits among cancer patients.
Methods: observational descriptive study based on a questionnaire, conducted in the unit of oncology at University Hospital Center of Casablanca, Morocco, Mal - nutrition was defined as a body mass index (BMI) <18.5 in patients ≥18 years old.
Results: A total of 216 questionnaires were analyzed. The extremes of age ranged between 28 and 79 years with an average age of 44 years. The objective evaluation of the nutritional status showed that 48% of the patients were malnourished. Our population of patients had poor knowledge of the nutritional problems caused by cancer with rate of 78%, and 88% did not benefit from nutritional monitoring by a dietitian. The most common causes of the decline in food intake were loss of appetite (84.5%), taste loss (45.7%), (26%) nausea and swallowing disorders, loss of smell (19.2%), vomiting (18.6%), abdominal pain (15%).
Conclusion: The prevalence of malnutrition is high in patients with cancer, and the nutritional care seems still insufficient. An improvement in the information tools on nutrition available to patients is required.