Oncology / Cancer

In cancer patients, improving the quality of life is achievable


In the past few decades, therapeutic advances have evolved considerably, moving the focus from cancer itself to the patient as a whole. This new, holistic approach encompasses all factors that can improve the quality of life.1,2 In this changing paradigm, adequate nutrition plays an important role.

Cancer. This one word designates many diseases, with more than 100 different types of cancer. Still, they all have one thing in common: their cause, the fact that abnormal cells divide uncontrollably and acquire the ability to invade other tissues.3 Most types of cancer get their names from the organ or cell type in which they start (e.g., breast cancer, melanoma, which is a skin cancer involving cells called melanocytes).3

Cancer is a global health concern, with an estimated 14.1 million new cases occurring in 2012. Prevalence estimates for 2012 show that there were 32.6 million people (over the age of 15) who had had a cancer diagnosed in the previous five years.4

Thanks to the therapeutic achievements of recent decades, such as early identification and improved treatments, today millions of cancer patients can prolong their lives.1 Lately, cancer management has even evolved from a disease-focused treatment to a more holistic approach, centered on the patient as a whole, and not only on the cancer alone. This new focus encompasses healthy lifestyle habits such as exercising, getting enough sleep, not smoking, managing stress and eating a nutritious diet.2 In that regard, good nutritional status may be of help in tolerating cancer treatments. That is why we at Nestlé Health Science are committed to developing nutritional therapies that help patients during cancer therapy.

1. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/002048-pdf.pdf. Accessed December 2014.
http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/mindbodyandspirit/holistic-medicine. Accessed December 2014.
2. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/cancerlibrary/what-is-cancer. Accessed December 2014.
3. http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2013/pdfs/pr223_E.pdf. Accessed December 2014.
4. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/supportivecare/nutrition/HealthProfessional/page4. Accessed December 2014.