Newswire (Published: Tuesday, March 16, 2021, 4:55:00 AM CDT, Received: Tuesday, March 16, 2021, 10:00:14 AM CDT)
The following information was released by
One in six men being treated for advanced prostate cancer experiences a reduced sense of smell and taste, a symptom that could cause increased anxiety among patients because it is also a side effect of COVID-19, according to Tulane researchers.
A study published in the journal Supportive Care in Cancer says a reduced sense of smell and taste among some prostate cancer patients is largely associated with poor appetite and weight loss.
Although the data collection for the study predated the COVID-19 pandemic, the results pose important implications for cancer patients undergoing hormone therapy, chemotherapy and/or bone antiresorptive during the coronavirus crisis.
For advanced cancer patients, losing their sense of taste and smell can have profound impacts on their emotional wellbeing and ability to engage with others socially."
"We wanted to make sure the article mentioned the significance of advanced prostate cancer patients experiencing losses in taste/smell as a side effect of their cancer treatment during the pandemic," said
Perry said most symptom assessments in cancer patients do not ask patients about their senses of taste or smell. "Our findings suggest these could be a valuable addition to routine assessments in prostate cancer," she said.
The study surveyed 75 men with advanced prostate cancer, asking them about their appetite, nausea while eating, and taste and smell of food over a 15-month period. Of the patients questioned, 17% experienced poor taste of food and 8% poor sense of smell. Participants were more likely to experience reduced sense of taste if they were being treated with the drugs denosumab or docetaxel, and they were more likely to experience weight loss if experiencing poor taste of food or poor appetite. Nausea was associated with an increased likelihood of experiencing poor taste and smell.
The study incorporated demographics, treatments and weight data from electronic health records.
Participants of the study were from the greater
"For advanced cancer patients, losing their sense of taste and smell can have profound impacts on their emotional wellbeing and ability to engage with others socially," Perry said.
Based on the findings of this study, the authors suggest that clinicians should regularly query patients for changes in sense of taste and smell, especially patients who are experiencing weight loss. During the pandemic, they said, it is especially important that clinicians make patients aware of the potential for treatment-related reduction in taste and smell to reduce COVID-19 anxiety.
The research team included authors from Tulane's uptown and downtown campuses, a collaboration cultivated by the Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science (LA CaTS) Center and Louisiana Cancer Research Center (LCRC).
In addition to Alonzi and Perry, the Tulane team included