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A Review on the Importance of Nursing Approaches in Nutrition of Children with Cancer

Authors: Ş. Çiftcioğlu, E. Efe


In recent years, cancer has been at the top of diseases that cause death in children. Adequate and balanced nutrition plays an important role in the treatment of cancer. Cancer and cancer treatment is affecting food intake, absorption and metabolism, causing nutritional disorders. Appropriate nutrition is very important for the cancerous child to feel well before, during and after the treatment. There are various difficulties in feeding children with cancer. These are the cancer-related factors. Other factors are environmental and behavioral. As health professionals who spend more time with children in the hospital, nurses should be able to support the children on nutrition and help them to have balanced nutrition. This study aimed to evaluate the importance of nursing approaches in the nutrition of children with cancer. This article is planned as a review article by searching the literature on this field. Anorexia may develop due to psychogenic causes or chemotherapeutic agents or accompanying infections and nutrient uptake may be reduced.  In addition, stomatitis, mucositis, taste and odor changes in the mouth, the feeling of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can also reduce oral intake and result in significant losses in the energy deficit. In assessing the nutritional status of children with cancer, determining weight loss and good nutrition is essential anamnesis of a child.  Some anthropometric measurements and biochemical tests should be used to evaluate the nutrition of the child. The nutritional status of pediatric cancer patients has been studied for a long time and malnutrition, in particular under nutrition, in this population has long been recognized. Yet, its management remains variable with many malnourished children going unrecognized and consequently untreated. Nutritional support is important to pediatric cancer patients and should be integrated into the overall treatment of these children.

Keywords: Cancer treatment, children, complication, nutrition, nursing approaches.

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