The National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health states, “Early nutrition screening and assessment help find problems that may affect how well the patient’s body can deal with the effects of cancer treatment. Patients who are underweight or malnourished may not be able to get through treatment as well as a well-nourished patient. Finding and treating nutrition problems early can help the patient gain weight or prevent weight loss, decrease problems with the treatment, and help recovery.”
- How would can you use this advisory to create a policy in your facility?
First, it would be necessary for the staff to ensure all patients maintain a healthy weight. It would entail maintaining enough calories every day. For obese patients, it would also entail losing some weight. Secondly, it is crucial to ensure patients get essential nutrients, such as protein, carbohydrates, fats, and water. As a result, it is necessary to ensure the diet provides these nutrients. Finally, the patients’ program must have time for as much activity as they can. The patients should not sit too much because they may lose some muscle mass and gain body fat.
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The facility should have a way of determining individuals’ nutritional status and dietary needs by assessing their current health status, their family members, and other indicators of poor health. The facility might also need to calculate the dietary diversity score by summing the number of unique food groups a patient consumed in the last 24 hours (Rathnayake et al., 2012). It could be carried out immediately after admission so that their status could get monitored throughout the treatment. The facility could also have nutrition counseling by a registered dietitian or a registered dietitian nutritionist to help create a diet that meets an individual’s specific nutritional needs.
- How could this knowledge support better care for cancer patients in active therapy at a facility?
Understanding the significance of good health during cancer treatment could be vital because it does impact the outcome. Proper nutrition could allow patients to recover faster and improve their quality of life by maintaining a healthy weight, strength, and body tissue while reducing the side effects of the treatment. Chemotherapy may attack healthy cells, and the treatment can end up compromising the individual’s immune system. A healthy diet is vital for cancer survivors because of the increased risk of health conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and the weakening of bones.
- What might you direct your food service manager to do?
The food service manager in the facility must ensure there is ample food in the store and every food gets prepared according to the dietitian’s recommendations. They must evaluate the need for special diets for some patients and make necessary arrangements to avail it as required. They must produce the recipes for the kitchen staff and oversee the overall quality of the food.
Rathnayake, K. M., Madushani, P., & Silva, K. (2012). Use of dietary diversity score as a proxy indicator of nutrient adequacy of rural elderly people in Sri Lanka. BMC Research Notes, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1756-0500-5-469