Changes to the sense of taste and smell are a common side-effect experienced by patients being treated for cancer. The HungerNdThirst Foundation has now signalled a possible negative impact on patient recovery and quality of life, due to the effect these changes have on food intake and food preferences. The foundation is focusing its attention on finding ways to improve the sensation of taste for cancer patients (and ex-patients) by modifying food, for example. The foundation has asked the Science Shop of Wageningen to help answer certain research questions in order to provide patients and care professionals with suitable practical information on taste and smell changes and the impact of these changes on nutrition. Tailor-made solutions for the patient are needed, with a focus on taste perception and tasty food, instead of eating because it has to be done.
As a result of the finished project of the Science Shop of Wageningen four fact sheets (in Dutch) were drawn up: for doctors, nurses, dietitians and the patients themselves. With these tools patients and caregivers to continue making healthy choices during illness and treatment, despite smell and taste changes.