It underlines that malnutrition which is often seen as point of diagnosis in childhood cancer or may develop during the course of treatment has consequences on tolerance to chemotherapy, wound healing, immune status, survival and quality of life.
The report mentions that it is important to obtain data on the prevalence of malnutrition in paediatric cancer patients especially from India so that strategies can be devised for active nutritional intervention to correct malnutrition at the time of initiation of treatment therapy, improving compliance to chemotherapy, cost of care, survival and quality of life.
It also suggest that nutritional strategies should be considered and integrated as fundamental feature of paediatric cancer therapy with the same diligence as one does for other supportive care measures to prevent chronic illness and adverse late effects caused by malnutrition.
Dr Shailesh Kanwinde, a paediatric oncologist from Pune, said, “There are many research studies which have underlined that low immunity can cause cancer. Immunity has a major role to play during course of treatment. Good immunity will lead to better results. Malnutrition does not ensure a good immune system. A healthy diet and good physique helps fight the cancer causing elements in the body.”