Nursing Management for Cancer Patients Experiencing Anorexia

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Kanokporn Wisuttikul




Anorexia has been documented as a salient problem in patients with cancer. It is a cause of inadequate energy and nutrition, which lead to increasingly abnormal health problems. Progressive anorexia may result in weight loss, an increase in anxiety and depression, a decrease of dietary intake, and severe malnutrition. Prolonged anorexia directly affects patients’ nutritional and overall health status. Patients with cancer frequently experience a severe outcome of anorexia referred to as “cancer cachexia” if they do not receive proper care through nursing management from the early stage of their illness. Nursing management of anorexia can be divided into 2 different types of interventions: pharmacological and non-pharmacological. In particular, the latter has a key role in the nursing management of such patients, focusing on helping them to receive adequate nutrition and decreasing energy expenditure to prevent weight loss in the early stage of illness. Non-pharmacological interventions involve environmental management, risk reduction for factors that motivate nausea and vomiting, and promoting collaboration among health-team professionals. In addition, nursing management includes providing support and advice to patients and caregivers for increasing their quality of life.


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Wisuttikul, K. (2011). Nursing Management for Cancer Patients Experiencing Anorexia. Nursing Science Journal of Thailand, 29(3), 8–16. Retrieved from
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Kanokporn Wisuttikul


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