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  1. Karlsson, Seija RN
  2. Andersson, Liv RN
  3. Berglund, Britta PhD, RN


Nutritional support is important to optimize treatment outcomes in colorectal cancer surgery. Using retrospective review of patients' medical records, we sought to identify the kinds of nutritional problems patients with colorectal cancer reported on their first visit to the surgeon to support those at risk of malnutrition. After reviewing data from the Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment of Nutritional Status, patients had a supportive counseling meeting about nutrition with a nurse. Of the 153 patients, 65% were diagnosed with colon cancer and 35% with rectal cancer. Eighteen percent of those with colon cancer were overweight, and 12% were obese. Of those with rectal cancer, 10% were overweight, and 7% were obese. Weight loss was reported by 18% of the patients with colon cancer and by 12% of the patients with rectal cancer. To identify the patients who need nutritional support before colorectal cancer surgery, it is important to first identify the patients' nutritional status. When the focus is on surgery, it is possible that these problems are not mentioned if no questions are asked. Nutritional assessment at the outpatient department makes it possible to use the time lapse between examination and surgery to improve the nutritional status.