Pancreatic cancer is not one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers, but it is one of the most lethal due to its early local extension and metastatic behaviour. Some of the reasons for this high fatality rate are the aggressiveness of the disease, its late diagnosis, especially since symptoms are unspecific and appear rather late, and the available limited therapeutic options.
Malnutrition in cancer patients leads to poorer health outcomes and it results in an increased burden on healthcare resources.
In pancreatic cancer (the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in both genders), more than 80% of patients have a significant weight loss at the time of diagnosis, and develop severe cachexia over time. Therefore, early, aggressive nutritional support is essential.
Actual available nutritional therapies, in care centres as well as at home, such as enteral nutrition, parenteral nutrition and special nutritional supplements have a beneficial effect on nutritional status, quality of life and even on patients survival.