Key messages

  • Malnutrition is common in people with cancer.
  • People receiving cancer treatment may experience negative consequences from malnutrition.
  • Cancer malnutrition is often under recognised and therefore under treated.
  • Early identification of nutritional needs through screening and intervention can lead to considerable benefits for patients, carers and the health system.
  • The Victorian Cancer Malnutrition Collaborative (VCMC) program of work aims to increase understanding and knowledge, and promote strategies for action in order to address the issue of cancer malnutrition

Cancer malnutrition point prevalence study (PPS)

The biennial cancer malnutrition point prevalence study has been conducted in 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018 and next planned in 2021. The results from each of these studies indicates that the prevalence of malnutrition in Victorian Cancer Services is trending downwards, from 31% in 2012 to 15% in 2018, with higher prevalence rates seen in the inpatient setting compared to the ambulatory setting. See more at the petermac website.

The CanEAT pathway

The CanEAT pathway is a cancer nutrition care pathway for patient, carers and health professionals that has been developed utilising experience based co-design methodology. The pathway provides an evidence-based framework to guide and improve the provision of nutritional care of people with cancer throughout the care continuum. The next project, which commenced in 2020 (iCanEAT), will focus on the implementation of the CanEAT pathway into clinical practice.

More information:

Optimising the cancer nutrition path: The CanEAT pathway

The CanEAT pathway

Cultural adaptation of the Malnutrition Screening Tool (MST)

This project converted the MST into an interactive online tool, available in English and Victoria’s top 10 preferred languages other than English. This tool includes audio files, a printable PDF version and education resource in each language. These tools will add to the availability of resources for cancer patients from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and enable effective use in all health settings.

More information:

Malnutrition Screening Tool

Factsheet: Preventing weight loss for people for cancer in English and 10 other languages

Previous VCMC program of work initiatives

Contact details