Chemotherapy and taste
July 12, 2022
Chemotherapy and taste

Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses one or more anti-cancer drugs as part of a standardised chemotherapy regimen.

Taste is the sensation of flavor (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, umami) perceived in the mouth and throat in contact with a substance.

Altered food relationships in people receiving chemotherapy are prevalent and distressing. Chemotherapy influences taste sensitivity and perceived intensity of the taste qualities of sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami.

About half of people receiving chemotherapy have taste changes. Immunotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery to the nose, throat, or nose, can also cause taste changes.

We should discuss the relationship between chemotherapy and taste. There is a huge potential impact on the quality of life aspects for those being treated with chemotherapy and confronted with side effects such as taste alteration.

Robert Greene
Patient Advocate Inspire2Live