Psychosocial impact of cancer cachexia

This paper provides an overview of the impact of cancer cachexia

Jane B. Hopkinson

2014

Scholarcy highlights

  • This paper provides an overview of the impact of cancer cachexia
  • Patients with cancer cachexia experience loss of weight often accompanied by anorexia and other debilitating symptoms that impact everyday life
  • My own work has proposed that there is a weight loss taboo sustained by the helplessness induced by cancer anorexia in patients, caregivers and health-care professionals
  • Attention to the assessment of psychosocial, as well as clinical, impacts of cancer cachexia and implications for patienthealth professional communication may be important to both quality of life of patients and multimodal treatment of the syndrome
  • If multimodal interventions are to be offered in early stages of cachexia before disease is refractory to treatment, they should perhaps become part of treatment regimes and psychosocial support integrated with supportive care in oncology clinics
  • Psychosocial intervention in cachexia should be researched for potential to help people affected by cancer cachexia feel better and for its potential to improve clinical outcomes through better uptake and compliance with multimodal therapy

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