The nutritional care experience of a post-operative periampullary cancer patient with cachexia

Yan Ting Liou, Pin Yi Chiang, Shiow Ching Shun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cachexia is one of the most widely overlooked of the syndromes that are experienced by cancer patients. This syndrome is especially prevalent among patients with gastroenterology tract cancer. Although the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) issued palliative-care practice guidelines for cachexia in 2015, guidelines have yet to be issued for the clinical setting. The authors reviewed the literature and applied their clinical experience to create an approach for identifying the degree of cachexia in a post-operative patient with periampullary cancer. This approach assesses the nutritional status, physical status, laboratory results, and gastrointestinal system functions of the patient using the Cachexia Assessment Scale (CAS) and NCCN Practice Guidelines for Cachexia. The patient improved under nursing care with an increase in nutritional intake and physical activity facilitating their process of post-surgical physical recovery. The authors hope that this experience using the combined CAS-NCCN Practice Guidelines will help clinical caregivers better understand how to apply the relevant guidelines in clinical settings. The developed approach may help nurses assess the comprehensive nutrition status of patients and related factors in order to provide interventions that will decrease the progression of cachexia effectively and promote quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-134
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • Cachexia
  • Periampullary cancer
  • Practice guideline


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