Briefing Paper

“EFAD European Specialist Dietetic Network for Oncology” Briefing paper

Dietitians in the management of nutrition in cancer 

Signs and symptoms of cancer may impact on dietary intake and nutritional status prior to diagnosis. It is essential that changes in nutritional status are identified at an early stage through nutritional screening. Dietitians working in oncology have a vital role in ensuring that nutritional aspects of patient management are an integral component of multidisciplinary care and that all cancer patients receive the dietetic support they need. Many countries recommend that dietitians working in oncology are basic or advanced level practitioners, who have knowledge of the impact of the disease and treatment, and the complex needs of such patients to be able to provide the high level of care required. Dietitians must work in close collaboration with other team members to meet patient needs both during treatment and for those living with and beyond cancer. It is increasingly recognized that Dietitians play an integral role in improving clinical outcomes for people with cancer.