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Nutrition in Cancer Care (PDQ®): Supportive care - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Nutrition Implications of Cancer Therapies

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The chemotherapy regimen and complications associated with the transplant may result in numerous problems that adversely affect nutritional intake and status.[23] During the transplant process, patients may experience nutrition-related side effects such as taste changes, oral dryness, thick saliva, mouth and throat sores, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, lack of appetite/weight loss, and weight gain. Often during the first few weeks posttransplant, patients are fed intravenously to ensure that they receive sufficient calories, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fluids.[24]

Many patients experience mouth and throat sores 2 to 4 weeks after transplantation. Mucositis is the general term that refers to the erythema, swelling, and ulceration of the intraoral soft-tissue structures and the oral and esophageal mucosa in response to the cytotoxic effect of radiation therapy and high-dose chemotherapy. Mouth and throat sores can make eating and swallowing difficult. TBI may also cause dryness of the mouth, temporarily alter the taste of food, and/or cause thick saliva to form in the mouth and throat. Nausea and vomiting are common problems experienced by transplant patients. Nausea and vomiting may be caused by TBI, chemotherapy, and some medications. TBI, chemotherapy, infection, depression, and fatigue can cause a decrease in appetite and weight loss. Lack of appetite may continue to be a problem long after discharge from the hospital. Patients may also experience gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea and constipation that could be caused by TBI, chemotherapy, gastrointestinal graft-versus-host disease, infection, and some medications.[25,26]

References:

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  3. Allison G, Dixon D, Eldridge B, et al.: Nutrition implications of surgical oncology. In: McCallum PD, Polisena CG, eds.: The Clinical Guide to Oncology Nutrition. Chicago, Ill: The American Dietetic Association, 2000, pp 79-89.
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  12. Polisena CG: Nutrition concerns with the radiation therapy patient. In: McCallum PD, Polisena CG, eds.: The Clinical Guide to Oncology Nutrition. Chicago, Ill: The American Dietetic Association, 2000, pp 70-8.
  13. Ravasco P, Monteiro-Grillo I, Vidal PM, et al.: Dietary counseling improves patient outcomes: a prospective, randomized, controlled trial in colorectal cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy. J Clin Oncol 23 (7): 1431-8, 2005.
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  15. Tyldesley S, Sheehan F, Munk P, et al.: The use of radiologically placed gastrostomy tubes in head and neck cancer patients receiving radiotherapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 36 (5): 1205-9, 1996.
  16. Heymsfield SB, Greenwood T, Roongpisuthipong C: Dietetics and enteral nutrition: past, present, and future. J Am Diet Assoc 85 (6): 667-8, 1985.
  17. Beer KT, Krause KB, Zuercher T, et al.: Early percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy insertion maintains nutritional state in patients with aerodigestive tract cancer. Nutr Cancer 52 (1): 29-34, 2005.
  18. Samlowski WE, Wiebke G, McMurry M, et al.: Effects of total parental nutrition (TPN) during high-dose interleukin-2 treatment for metastatic cancer. J Immunother 21 (1): 65-74, 1998.
  19. Charuhas PM: Bone marrow transplantation. In: Skipper A, ed.: Dietitian's Handbook of Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition. 2nd ed. Gaithersburg, Md: Aspen Publishers, 1998, pp 273-94.
  20. Johns A: Overview of bone marrow and stem cell transplantation. J Intraven Nurs 21 (6): 356-60, 1998 Nov-Dec.
  21. Ninin E, Milpied N, Moreau P, et al.: Longitudinal study of bacterial, viral, and fungal infections in adult recipients of bone marrow transplants. Clin Infect Dis 33 (1): 41-7, 2001.
  22. Jantunen E, Ruutu P, Piilonen A, et al.: Treatment and outcome of invasive Aspergillus infections in allogeneic BMT recipients. Bone Marrow Transplant 26 (7): 759-62, 2000.
  23. Roberts SR: Bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cell transplantation. In: Lysen LK, ed.: Quick Reference to Clinical Dietetics. Gaithersburg, Md: Aspen Publishers, Inc, 1997, pp 162-8.
  24. Weisdorf SA, Schwarzenberg SJ: Nutritional support of bone marrow transplantation recipients. In: Forman SJ, Blume KG, Thomas ED, eds.: Bone Marrow Transplantation. Boston, Mass: Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1994, pp 327-36.
  25. Charuhas PM: Medical nutrition therapy in bone marrow transplantation. In: McCallum PD, Polisena CG, eds.: The Clinical Guide to Oncology Nutrition. Chicago, Ill: The American Dietetic Association, 2000, pp 90-8.
  26. Shapiro TW, Davison DB, Rust DM, eds.: A Clinical Guide to Stem Cell and Bone Marrow Transplantation. Boston, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 1997.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: September 04, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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