The Cancer Nutrition-Rehabilitation Program—introduced in 2002—provides treatment for cancer patients suffering from loss of appetite, weight and function, and increased fatigue, as a result of their illness. This Program was created to enable patients with advancing cancer to maintain dignity, function, and a high quality of life, throughout the course of their illness.
The mission of Cancer Nutrition-Rehabilitation encompasses the three key areas of clinical care, research and education:
- To develop and administer nutritional and rehabilitation programs for cancer patients suffering from poor appetite, malnutrition, weight loss, fatigue and loss of function;
- To conduct research aimed at understanding the underlying biological reasons for the above symptoms in some cancer patients;
- To educate patients, family caregivers and health professionals in new ways to manage the above symptoms.
The following goals reflect this mission:
- To enhance patient quality of life;
- To sustain function, allowing patients to remain at home caring for themselves for prolonged periods of time, thus reducing hospitalization requirements;
- To reduce the burden, both physical and psychological, on family and caregivers;
- To reduce the adverse effects of commonly used anti-cancer therapies.
Treatment focuses on personalized nutritional counselling and the administration of nutritional supplements to combat the loss of appetite and weight, and individualized rehabilitation programs to counter fatigue and loss of function. Patients with advanced lung and gastrointestinal cancers are currently being treated; however, there are plans to expand over time to include patients with other forms of cancer.
Cancers and their treatments cause major changes in general body physiology, with consequent deleterious effects on symptoms and length of survival. Poor symptom control frequently leads to disability and hospitalization. Once hospitalized, patients progressively deteriorate with regard to mobility and self-care. A coordinated, multidisciplinary approach—which combines the application of impeccable pain and symptom management with nutritional counselling and physical rehabilitation, carried out in concert with therapies directly attacking the tumour (surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy)—represents the most logical approach to the treatment of cancer.
The clinical team includes physicians specializing in cancer nutrition and pain and symptom control, and nurses, physiotherapists and dieticians with experience in caring for cancer patients.
Cancer Nutrition-Rehabilitation is part of the Division of Palliative Care, the Department of Oncology, and the Department of Medicine. Clinics are located at the Sir Mortimer B. Davis-Jewish General Hospital and the RVH - Royal Victoria Hospital.
Dr. Thomas Jagoe
(514) 340-8222 x 4205
514-398-8452 x 8988