In a nutshell
This study looked at the changes in the sense of taste of children with cancer and those who received a stem cell transplant. Researchers found that taste changes in these patients were common.
Cancer is often treated with powerful drugs or stem cell transplant. These may have strong side effects. In children, it is important to ensure safe and effective treatment while reducing side effects. Taste is important to enjoy food. This will help keep high nutrition levels in patients with cancer. It is important to research how treatment for cancer affects taste.
Methods & findings
502 children with cancer were included in the study. Most children had leukemia or lymphoma. Bothersome changes in taste were measured using self-reported surveys and questionnaires.
Overall, 226 (45%) patients reported changes in taste. 48 (9.6%) reported severe changes in taste. Factors affecting changes in taste included patients in hospital receiving active cancer treatment, patients treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and children experiencing more nausea and vomiting.
The bottom line
The study concluded that changes in taste occurred in many pediatric patients treated for cancer. This was more common in patients with severe nausea and vomiting.
The fine print
Further research is required to prevent changes in taste during treatment in these patients.
Published By :
Supportive care in cancer: official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer
Oct 15, 2018
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