Anorexia is the involuntary loss of appetite that has been reported to be as high as 80% in patients with various types of late-stage cancers. Anorexia is the most prominent symptom in the anorexia–cachexia syndrome that has been described in patients with cancer. ONS PEP resources address anorexia as a unique symptom separate from the entire cachexia syndrome. Many factors contribute to the loss of appetite associated with cancer or other disease processes as well as oncologic treatment side effects.

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This topic was updated on February 27, 2017. Learn more about these changes.

2011–2017 Authors

Deborah M. Thorpe, PhD, APRN, AOCNS®, ACHPN, Paula Caron, MS, ARNP, ACHPN, Susanne B. Conley, RN, MSN, CPON®, AOCNS®, Lorraine Drapek, RN, AOCNP®, FNP-BC, Jeanne Held-Warmkessel, MSN, RN, AOCN®, ACNS-BC, Margaret J. Ramsdell, RN, MN, OCN®, Barbara Rogers, CRNP, MN, AOCN®, ANP-BC, Meghan L. Underhill, PhD, RN, AOCNS®, and Brenda Wolles, RN, BSN, OCN®

ONS Staff: Margaret M. Irwin, PhD, RN, MN, Christine M. Maloney, BA, Kerri A. Moriarty, MLS, and Mark Vrabel, MLS, AHIP, ELS


2009 Authors

Lynn A. Adams, RN, MS, ANP, AOCN®, and Regina S. Cunningham, PhD, RN, AOCN®

ONS Staff: Heather Belansky, RN, MSN


2008 Authors

Lynn A. Adams, RN, MS, ANP, AOCN®, Regina S. Cunningham, PhD, RN, AOCN®, Rose Ann Caruso, RN, OCN®, Martha J. Norling, RN, OCN®, and Nancy Shepard, RN, MS, AOCN®

ONS Staff: Heather Belansky, RN, MSN