Nutrition Implications for Long-Term Survivors of Pancreatic Cancer Surgery

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Abstract

With slowly increasing survival rates in pancreatic cancer and international consensus guidelines recommending surgical resection of premalignant lesions, survival post–pancreatic resection is increasing. With longer survival time, the significant comorbidities of such major surgery have far-reaching effects on the nutrition status of the survivor of pancreatic cancer. This review describes the many nutrition-related side effects of pancreatic surgery, including the development of pancreatic enzyme insufficiency, micronutrient deficiencies, diabetes, fatty liver, and metabolic bone disease. Beyond causing additional medical problems, each of these can have significant effects on quality of life and functional status. The potential mechanisms, diagnosis criteria, and potential treatments of these conditions are described. Overall, little literature exists to fully describe the effects of these comorbidities, and even less is able to guide effective treatments for this population. Clinicians caring for these patients should begin incorporating goals for promotion of long-term health and reduction of these known and reported comorbidities in patients who have undergone pancreatic surgery. Treatment plans in this population remain understudied, and clinicians may need to consider recommendations for similar disease states when developing interventions for these patients.

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