Nutritional status in children with cancer: Before, during and after therapy
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CONTEXT: Malnutrition is prevalent in children with cancer at diagnosis, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) where the great majority of children live. It is associated with an added burden of morbidity and mortality. AIMS: Answers were sought to the best measure of nutritional status in LMIC, the impact of anti-neoplastic therapy, effective interventions to achieve normal nutritional status and the impact of these on clinical outcomes. RESULTS: Arm anthropometry offers reasonable estimates of fat mass and lean body mass that are both impacted adversely by treatment. Nutritional supplementation, including the use of simple local resources, is beneficial and can improve survival. Long-term survivors may continue to exhibit perturbed nutritional status. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence and severity of malnutrition in children with cancer in LMIC demand attention. Opportunities exist to conduct studies in India to examine the effects of nutritional interventions, including on the overall well-being of survivors.
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