Cancer-Associated Malnutrition (CAM)(6, 7) A Serious Condition Caused By Cancer Treatment Side Effects
CAM is characterized by significant weight loss and a lack of sufficient nutrients to patients in order to function normally. CAM is caused by the cancer treatments and from the biological effects of the tumor as it competes with the body for nutrients and resources. Because CAM is a complex condition that can be extremely debilitating and dangerous for patients, many experts suggest nutritional interventions should be an integral part of cancer therapy in order to improve clinical outcomes.
Several consequences of CAM include: impaired quality of life; reduced response to chemotherapy; increased risk of chemotherapy-induced toxicity; impaired immune competence; reduced performance status and muscle function; increased risk of post-operative complications; longer hospital stay; higher prescription and consultation rates; and shorter survival time.
CAM treatment focuses on relieving pain and discomfort, and addressing the underlying problem. Treating CAM to ensure a proper weight and lean muscle mass not only improves metabolism and provides a more effective foundation for cancer treatments to be successful, but it also makes patients feel better.