The Importance of Nutritional Interventions for Cancer Patients

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Deputy chairman of the Association of Indonesian Clinical Nutrition Specialists (PDGKI), Ida Gunawan, mentioned nutrition interventions for people with cancer who are undergoing the necessary medication to prevent malnutrition. Ida said in a survey conducted on 300 cancer patients undergoing treatment at the Dharmais Hospital in Jakarta, about 30 percent were malnourished.

“Cancer causes inflammation to arise in all parts of the body. The effects of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy increase inflammation in the body, in addition to causing physical fatigue to impaired nerve function, including mental fatigue so that the patient is at a low point and leads to no appetite which causes malnutrition, ”Kata Ida.

The clinical nutrition specialist said nutrition interventions should be carried out since cancer is detected early so that it is easier to prevent malnutrition. Nutrition intervention by professionals for people with cancer is also carried out so that there are no errors in giving food and drinks to patients. After hearing the cancer verdict, patients often undergo the wrong diet like dieting.

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“Many are mistaken, when they find out they have cancer, they stay away from meat, eggs, and only eat vegetables. They actually follow a vegetarian diet, even though the patient’s body needs it nutrition which is complete and balanced because the nutritional needs of people with cancer are actually very high, especially those who are undergoing treatment, “explained Ida.

There are several things that must be considered to meet the nutritional needs of people with cancer in one day, including the energy needs calculated as 25-30 kilo calories (kcal) / kilogram of body weight. Furthermore, protein requirements to maintain muscle mass are calculated using the formula 1-1.5 grams / kilogram body weight, and omega 3 fatty acids at a dose of 1-2 grams per day.

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In addition, the provision of vitamins and minerals is also adjusted to the nutritional adequacy rate (RDA). For people with cancer who have congenital diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, or gout it is highly recommended to immediately consult a nutritionist. In addition to helping patients recognize their nutritional needs, a nutritionist can also guide patients to help manage their diet.

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