Background: Patients with lung cancer often experience an impaired
nutritional condition, as a consequence of disease and treatment.
Chemotherapy is associated with a significant percentage of the risk of
potentially disrupting symptoms of nutritional condition. Malnutrition
of patients contributes to limited recovery, unsatisfactory therapeutic
response to treatment, worsens the quality of life, poor prognosis and
increased morbidity and mortality.
Patients and methods: A completed questionnaire the European
Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC QLQ
C30) from 100 patients (men and women over 40) with lung cancer of
different histological types. This study focused on four questions related
to anorexia, nausea, vomiting, and constipation, which were scored from
1 (not at all) to 4 (very much).
Results: Women showed significant nausea, vomiting, constipation
and anorexia during chemotherapy in percentages 67%, 48%, 33% and
31% respectively. The men experienced nausea, anorexia, vomiting and
constipation in percentages 63%, 39%, 17.5% and 15% respectively.
During the first and subsequent cycle of treatment, about one third of
patients reported that nausea and vomiting had a significant impact on
their daily lives. High percentage of patients (56%) showed a significant
degree of weight loss.
Conclusions: Chemotherapy continues to affect negatively patients’
quality of life with a stronger impact on everyday life. Gastrointestinal
symptoms can potentially affect weight loss. The initial dietary
assessment is the benchmark. Continuous periodic nutritional
assessment should be a necessary aspect of periodic inspection (follow
up) of a patient with lung cancer in the course of disease.