Cancer-related malnutrition and sarcopenia

The Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) have released a position statement about cancer-related malnutrition and sarcopenia which you can find here:

Highlights for generalist primary care providers:

  • Cancer-related malnutrition and sarcopenia are under-recognised and under-treated
  • It’s not all about being underweight - these conditions can be present at any body weight or BMI including obesity
  • Primary care providers can play an important role in identifying the conditions and making referrals for management


  • there are validated malnutrition screening tools which can be self-administered or completed by any health professional
  • anyone identified as being at risk of malnutrition following screening should be referred to a practising dietitian for comprehensive nutritional assessment and initiation of appropriate treatment


  • The SARC-F is a screening tool that’s been validated for use in older people and people with cancer
  • All people identified at risk of sarcopenia should be referred to an accredited practising dietitian and exercise specialist experienced in the cancer setting