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Support Care Cancer. 2004 Aug;12(8):571-6. Epub 2004 Jun 4.

Decreased taste sensitivity in cancer patients under chemotherapy.

Author information

1
Faculté de Chirurgie Dentaire, 5 Rue Garancière, 75006 Paris, France. berteret@ccr.jussieu.fr

Abstract

GOALS OF WORK:

The aim of the study was to measure taste thresholds among cancer patients under chemotherapy compared to controls.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

The study was performed with 110 cancer patients and 170 healthy subjects of similar age distribution were included in the study. The electrogustometric detection threshold was evaluated as the lowest current intensity perceived by the subject in three tongue sites independently with a constant current generator.

MAIN RESULTS:

Taste thresholds for all cancer patients demonstrated significantly higher values compared to controls.

CONCLUSIONS:

Cancer patients treated by chemotherapy demonstrated a temporary taste sensitivity deficit. Associated with the illness due to the treatment, this deficit explains the patients complaining of "abnormal or bad tastes", which results in food aversion and has a negative impact on nutritional status and quality of life. In order to prevent the risk of anorexia and the enhanced morbidity related to this deficit, treatment should include relevant information to the subject for anticipating objective taste modifications and a psychological follow-up during the actual change of taste quality perceptions in everyday life.

PMID:
15179562
DOI:
10.1007/s00520-004-0589-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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