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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 508-518

Revisiting Cancer Cachexia: Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Current Treatment Approaches

1 Department of Paediatric Rehabilitation, Yenepoya Physiotherapy College, Yenepoya (Deemed to be University), Mangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Yenepoya Dental College, Yenepoya (Deemed to be University), Mangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Sajad Ahmad Buch
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Yenepoya Dental College, Yenepoya (Deemed to be University), Mangalore, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/apjon.apjon-2126

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The objective of this article is to group together various management strategies and to highlight the recent treatment modifications that attempt to target the multimodal etiological factors involved in cancer cachexia. The contemporary role of nursing fraternity in psychosocial and nutritional assessment of cancer patients is briefly discussed. Cachexia is a syndrome of metabolic disturbance, characterized by the inflammation and loss of muscle with or without loss of adipose tissue. In cancer cachexia, a multifaceted condition, patients suffer from loss of body weight that leads to a negative impact on the quality of life and survival of the patients. The main cancers associated with cachexia are that of pancreas, stomach, lung, esophagus, liver, and that of bowel. The changes include increased proteolysis, lipolysis, insulin resistance, high energy expenditure, and reduced intake of food, all leading to impaired response to different treatments. There is no standardized treatment for cancer cachexia that can stabilize or reverse this complex metabolic disorder at present. The mainstay of cancer cachexia therapy remains to be sufficient nutritional supplements with on-going efforts to explore the drugs that target heightened catabolic processes and complex inflammation. There is a need to develop a multimodal treatment approach combining pharmacology, exercise program, and nutritional support to target anorexia and the severe metabolic changes encountered in cancer cachexia.

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