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Subjective and objective taste and smell changes in cancer

2017-05-01, Spotten, L. E., Corish, Clare A., Lorton, C. M., Ui Dhuibhir, Pauline M., O’Donoghue, N. C., O'Connor, B., Walsh, Thomas D.

Malnutrition is highly prevalent in cancer patients and an important predictor of morbidity, mortality, treatment response and toxicity. Taste and smell changes (TSCs) are common and may contribute to malnutrition. Research has previously focused on patients receiving chemotherapy (CT) or head and neck radiotherapy (RT). However, TSCs may occur pre-treatment, with other treatment modalities, and in cancer survivors. This review evaluates objective and subjective assessment of taste and smell, discusses the prevalence of TSCs in cancer, and reviews the clinical sequelae of TSCs in cancer patients.