In spite of medical advancements, a cure for mesothelioma remains out of reach. A diagnosis equates a probable death sentence. Extending lives is the best option available through medical treatments and ensuring that patients get the proper nutrition.
Yet, it’s the lack of necessary nourishment that is becoming a growing problem.
The Dangerous Intersection of Malnutrition and Mesothelioma
If a study coming from Brazil is any indication, malnutrition, and the issues that surround it is impacting mesothelioma patients over 65. More than 4,500 in 45 hospitals were evaluated for nutritional status, risk and related symptoms.
The research suggests that many older mesothelioma patients may be at risk for malnutrition and the problems that go with it. Among the 25% of cancer patients over 65, more than are at a moderate to severe risk for malnutrition. For those between 51 and 64, the risk went down 36 percent.
The issue is not an adversity to eating and drinking to keep up their strength. Many simply don’t have the appetite to consume anything while others suffer from dry mouth and difficulty swallowing. Qualified medical professionals aware of those challenges are seeking ways to prioritize nutrition for their mesothelioma patients.
The Nutrition and Cancer Journal conducted a study that revealed that nutritional status can result in longer survival rates. The higher the score, the more nourishment cells receive. Those healthy cells are staving off the effects of mesothelioma.
Another study in the journal Nutrition and Cancer showed that patients with the best nutritional status – accounting for the state of a patient’s health – often have more prolonged mesothelioma survival. A lower status only worsened their conditions.
Treatments are paramount. However, proactive nutritional screening and assessments play a crucial role in early malnutrition diagnosis and intervention. Diets should include everything from fruits and vegetables to lean protein. Bringing in cancer nutrition specialists can help strategize ways to resolve nausea and other problems that negatively impact appetite.