What's more, the information is not always cancer-site specific, more general recommendations for all cancers are noted. And the weight maintenance recommendations are really less for survivorship and more about not losing weight during treatment, Dr. Champ said.
But depending on cancer type and stage, one might expect different weight changes attributed to these concerns. For instance, recommendations for patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer may diverge dramatically from nutritional recommendations appropriate for patients with localized breast or prostate cancer.
Studies show that the majority of women gain weight during adjuvant treatment for breast cancer, and prospective trials have shown a similar detriment in survival outcomes in obese men during prostate cancer treatment. Promoting low-fat, high-protein diets may cause patients to turn to a high-carbohydrate diet and compound any other weight issues.
It is likely that recommendations favoring calorie-dense diets and therefore weight maintenance are in response to previous findings on weight and cancer. Weight loss during cancer treatment has been associated with a detrimental impact on quality of life, poorer treatment outcomes, and decreased survival time.
Such contradictory information may cause problems for some patients. The lack of data and consistency in recommendations could drastically alter a patient's dietary habits during treatment depending on which site they access.
Many centers, even high-quality institutions such as those reviewed in this study, do not even offer recommendations, and the external referenced websites advocate a variety of nutritional approaches that are inconsistent with each other and NCCN member websites.
"These findings demonstrate an urgent need for consistent, evidence-based nutritional guidelines for pat
|Contact: Steve Graff|
Thomas Jefferson University