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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 289--295

Nutritional assessment of patients with head and neck cancer in North-East India and dietary intervention


1 Department of Life Sciences, Assam University, Silchar, Assam, India
2 Department of Palliative Care, Cachar Cancer Institute, Silchar, Assam, India
3 Department of Ear, Nose and Throat, Silchar Medical College, Silchar, Assam, India

Correspondence Address:
Abhinandan Bhattacharjee
Department of Life Sciences, Assam University, Silchar, Assam
India
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Source of Support: Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi., Conflict of Interest: There are no conflicts of interest.


DOI: 10.4103/0973-1075.164889

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Introduction: Head and neck cancer (HNCA) patients have poor nutritional status which clearly bears a negative prognosis in cancer. There is no study and consensus on nutritional assessment tools and diet structure for such patients. This study intends to determine the prevalence of malnutrition and formulate a diet chart keeping in view the general food habit and economic condition of HNCA patients of North East (NE) region. Aim: To find out an affordable dietary intervention for HNCA patients based on dietary principles. To assess the role of nutritional assessment tools in these group of patients. Materials and Methods: This is a 1-year prospective interventional study on HNCA patients attending the Dept of ENT of a teaching hospital. The outcome of the nutritional intervention using a specific diet were assessed using clinical, laboratory and anthropomorphic assessment tools and indices like Prognostic Nutritional Index (PNI) and Nutritional Assessment Index (NAI). Results: The study diet provided appropriate amounts of nutrients to HNCA patients as evident from improvements in anthropomorphic parameters and nutritional indices. Clinically, Hemoglobin percentage (Hb%), Body Mass Index (BMI), Mid Arm Circumference (MAC) and triceps skin fold thickness (TST) were found to be reliable malnutrition markers. Conclusion: Nutritional Assessment Index has been found to be the best index to evaluate malnutrition. The daily requirement of nutrients for HNCA patients can be satisfactorily met by adopting specific diet chart presented in our study. As no structured diet plan are available in literature, our diet chart can act as a template diet appropriate for HNCA patients of this region.






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