Changes in taste and food preferences in breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy: a pilot study

Supportive Care in Cancer : Official Journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer
Yeon-Hee KimSeung-Min Lee

Abstract

Cancer treatment may relate to appetite reduction and malnutrition. We investigated taste alterations and dish-type preferences during chemo- and/or radiation therapy in breast cancer patients. Breast cancer patients (BC, n = 59) scheduled to receive cancer therapy and healthy subjects (control group or CTRL, n = 49) were voluntarily recruited. Taste detection thresholds (DTs) and recognition thresholds (RT) were compared between pre-treatment BC patients and CTRL for sweet (sucrose), salty (NaCl), bitter (caffeine), and sour (citric acid) solutions. Changes in taste thresholds and dish preferences during treatment were monitored in the BC group. Blood chemistry and anthropometric data were collected. At baseline, BC patients demonstrated lower sweet and salty DTs and RTs and a higher sour RT compared to CTRL. Bitter DT and RT were similar in both groups. Mild/soft dishes were preferred over fried/oily dishes by BC patients. Throughout treatment in BC patients, sweet thresholds significantly declined, while salty, bitter, and sour DTs and RTs were not affected, and there was no increase in preference for a dish. However, preference towards mild/soft dishes remained. While sweet-sour fruits and sweetened nuts were not favored du...Continue Reading

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