Malnutrition means getting too little of the types of food necessary for good health. About 3 million people in Britain have malnutrition. This affects their health and ability to work.

Some people are more at risk than others. Between 40 to 80 out of every 100 people with cancer (40 to 80%) have malnutrition. You can be malnourished or at risk of being malnourished regardless of how much you weigh.

Not being able to eat enough protein and calories is one of the main problems for people with cancer. Extra protein helps with healing after treatments such as Surgery.


  • Quality standard for nutrition support in adults (QS24)
    National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), November 2012
  • Nutrition and Cancer
    Edited by Clare Shaw
    Wiley-Blackwell, 2011
  • Introduction to malnutrition
    BAPEN (British Association of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition)
  • Nutrition in Cancer Patients
    P Ravasco
    Journal of clinical medicine, 2019, 8(8), 1211.
  • Molecular nutritional immunology and cancer
    R Pehreli
    Journal of Oncological Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 1, April 2018, Pages 40-46
  • The role of parenteral and enteral/oral nutritional support in patients with cancer
    A Jatoi and others