An estimated 90 percent of oncology patients in the United States receive treatment in outpatient cancer centers and clinics. This change from the older model of inpatient care has important implications for overall quality of care for oncology patients and nutritional care in particular. Amidst growing concern about access to oncology nutrition services, combined with growing recognition of the importance of providing nutritional care to optimize oncology treatment outcomes and maximize quality of life among both patients and survivors of cancer, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a public workshop in March 2016 to explore evolving interactions between nutritional care, cancer, and health outcomes.
Participants explored how health outcomes and survival of cancer patients in outpatient cancer centers are affected by current standards for nutritional services, nutritional interventions, and benefits associated with oncology patient access to medical nutrition therapy. They also studied the cost of outpatient nutritional care and assessed cost–benefit relationships between oncology nutrition services and health outcomes and survival. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.