Nutritional Counseling in Survivors of Childhood Cancer: An Essential Component of Survivorship Care
There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that nutritional status during treatment for cancer has a significant impact on treatment-related toxicities and outcomes among children and adolescents with cancer. The effects of nutritional status appear to extend into survivorship with a large proportion of survivors at risk for a variety of nutrition-related morbidities. The influence of dietary intake on overall treatment outcomes and long-term morbidities is largely unknown. In adults, evidence suggests that greater adherence to cancer prevention dietary guidelines improves long-term health outcomes among survivors of cancer. Surveys describing dietary intake among survivors of childhood cancer have found that most survivors are not meeting the recommended guidelines for many dietary nutrients and this may have an unfavorable effect on nutrition-related outcomes. However, more research is needed in this area so that well-designed clinical trials may be developed and tested. This review presents an overview of the existing literature describing dietary intake among survivors of childhood cancer, the clinical implications of reported dietary behaviors among survivors, and identifies areas for future research.
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