Understanding taste dysfunction in patients with cancer.
Summary of "Understanding taste dysfunction in patients with cancer."
Taste dysfunction is a significant but underestimated issue for patients with cancer. Impaired taste results in changes in diet and appetite, early satiety, and impaired social interactions. Nurses can play a key role in educating patients and families on the pathophysiology of taste dysfunction by suggesting interventions to treat the consequences of taste dysfunction, when available, and offering psychosocial support as patients cope with this often devastating consequence of treatment. Taste recognition helps humans identify the nutritional quality of food and signals the digestive tract to begin secreting enzymes. Spoiled or tainted foods typically are recognized by their bad taste. Along with the other sensory systems, taste is crucial for helping patients treated for cancer feel normal. This article will review the anatomy and physiology of taste; define the different types of taste dysfunction, including the underlying pathophysiologic basis related to cancer treatment; and discuss potential nursing interventions to manage the consequences of taste dysfunction.
School of Nursing, Saint Louis University in Missouri.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Clinical journal of oncology nursing
- PubMed Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22459526
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1188/12.CJON.171-178
Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions
Conditions characterized by an alteration in gustatory function or perception. Taste disorders are frequently associated with OLFACTION DISORDERS. Additional potential etiologies include METABOLIC DISEASES; DRUG TOXICITY; and taste pathway disorders (e.g., TASTE BUD diseases; FACIAL NERVE DISEASES; GLOSSOPHARYNGEAL NERVE DISEASES; and BRAIN STEM diseases).
The act or fact of grasping the meaning, nature, or importance of; understanding. (American Heritage Dictionary, 4th ed) Includes understanding by a patient or research subject of information disclosed orally or in writing.
The minimum concentration at which taste sensitivity to a particular substance or food can be perceived.
A condition characterized by alterations of the sense of taste which may range from mild to severe, including gross distortions of taste quality.
Cancer Care Facilities
Institutions specializing in the care of cancer patients.
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