Nutritional status, food intake, and dysphagia in long-term survivors with head and neck cancer treated with chemoradiotherapy: A cross-sectional study

van den Berg MG, Rütten H, Rasmussen-Conrad EL, Knuijt S, Takes RP, van Herpen CM, Wanten GJ, Kaanders JH, Merkx MA.

Head Neck. 2013 Apr 4.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The aim of this study was to evaluate nutritional status, food intake, and dysphagia in long-term head and neck cancer survivors.

METHODS:

Thirty-two patients with stage III-IV head and neck cancer treated by chemoradiotherapy were invited to evaluate nutritional status (malnutrition, relative weight loss), food intake (food modification; quality), and dysphagia.

RESULTS:

At a median follow up of 44 months, 6 of 32 patients were at risk for malnutrition. Women (p = .049) and patients with high body mass index before treatment (p = .024) showed more weight loss. None of the 32 patients could eat a “full diet.” Six patients used nutritional supplements/tube feeding. Low dysphagia-related quality of life scores were significantly correlated to increased food modification (r = 0.405; p = .024).

CONCLUSIONS:

Nutritional advice in patients with head and neck cancer is still necessary years after chemoradiation and should focus on nutritional status, food modification, and quality, in accord with recommended food groups. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2013.

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