Cancer. This one word encompasses many diseases, as there are more than 100 different types of cancer. Still, they all have one thing in common: their cause, the fact that abnormal cells divide uncontrollably and acquire the ability to invade other tissues.3 Most types of cancer get their names from the organ or cell type in which they start (e.g., breast cancer, melanoma, which is a skin cancer involving cells called melanocytes).3
Cancer is a global health concern, with an estimated 14.1 million new cases occurring in 2012. Estimates made in 2012 suggest that there were 32.6 million people (over the age of 15) who were diagnosed with cancer in the preceding five years.4 In Malaysia, approximately 90,000 people are living with cancer at any one time, and an estimated 20,000 - 30,000 new cases occur every year.5
Thanks to the therapeutic achievements of recent decades, such as early identification and improved treatments,millions of cancer patients today can prolong their lives.1 Lately, cancer management has even evolved from a disease-focused treatment to a more holistic approach, centred on the patient as a whole, and not only on the cancer alone. This new focus encompasses healthy lifestyle habits such as exercising, getting enough sleep, not smoking, managing stress and eating a nutritious diet.6 In that regard, good nutritional status may be of help in tolerating cancer treatments. That is why we at Nestlé Health Science are committed to developing nutritional therapiesthat help patients during cancer therapy.
1. American Cancer Society. The History of Cancer. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/002048-pdf. Accessed on 10 March 2016.
2. American Cancer Society. Nutrition for the Person With Cancer During Treatment: A Guide for Patients and Families. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/002903-pdf.pdf. Accessed on 10 March 2016.
3. National Cancer Institute. What is Cancer? Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/what-is-cancer. Accessed 10 March 2016.
4. International Agency for Research on Cancer. Latest World Cancer Statistics. Available at: https://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2013/pdfs/pr223_E.pdf. Accessed on 10 March 2016.
5. National Cancer Society Malaysia. Cancer in Malaysia. Available at: http://www.cancer.org.my/quick-facts/types-cancer. Accessed 10 March 2016.
6. National Cancer Institute. Nutrition in Cancer Care-Health Professional Version. Overview. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/side-effects/appetite-loss/nutrition-hp-pdq. Accessed on 10 March 2016.