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Cancer cachexia knowledge and practice gaps: a review


Article: Identification and management of cancer cachexia in patients: Assessment of healthcare providers’ knowledge and practice gaps

Cancer cachexia is a wasting disorder, where nutritional interventions cannot fully aid in restoring weight in patients. It severely impacts quality of life and survival rates of patients. In this study, a 58-question questionnaire was completed by clinicians to understand the knowledge and practice gaps within the treatment of cancer cachexia. Some issues raised included the lack of a standardised definition of cancer cachexia for diagnosis, with 43% of respondents stating that low levels of attention are given to providing such a diagnosis. Furthermore, it was reported that screening for cachexia was not completed routinely, among other practice gaps.

This review by Baracos VE et al. aimed to highlight the gaps in understanding of cancer cachexia that clinicians face worldwide.

Key learnings There are many knowledge and practice gaps within the treatment of cancer cachexia globally. Using the results of this questionnaire, it may be possible to guide the development of educational programs for clinicians. This will allow for improvements in understanding of cancer cachexia, and therefore improvements in the management of cancer patients.

Reviewed by: Z. Beketova

Authors: Baracos VE, Coats AJ, Anker SD, et al.

Published in: Cardiovasc Diabetol 2022

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