The Role of the Dietitian Throughout the Cancer Continuum: Having the Difficult Conversations


Nutrition is crucial during every step of the cancer journey. What people eat matters for cancer prevention, helps improve clinical outcomes during treatment, and is an empowering aspect of survivorship. But what about when the cancer journey is ending? The need for nutrition interventions and ethical management is paramount during this phase; however, there is little research or standardization of process to help dietitians provide informed medical nutrition therapy and ethically-sensitive interventions. This presentation will discuss the involvement of nutrition across the cancer continuum and will highlight the role of the registered dietitian nutritionist as part of the palliative care team. Participants will learn about the newly formed Ethical Feeding Task Force comprised at Fox Chase Cancer Center –a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center research facility and hospital located in Philadelphia, PA – and their goal to create a standardized tool to determine when artificial nutrition is warranted at the end of life. Discussion on this pilot project and presented case studies will not only help dietitians lean into an area that many shy away from, but will galvanize dietitians to become an integral piece of palliative care discussions.

Learning Objectives

Identify the impact of nutrition interventions during cancer treatment

Describe importance features of nutrition in survivorship

Outline ethical feeding options at the end of life

Performance Indicators

1.3 Recognizes and manages situations with ethical implications

4.2 Exercises critical thinking when faced with opportunities and challenges

10.3 Establishes and implements evidence-based nutrition interventions to address PES statements and client/patient goals


Kara Stromberg

Clinical Nutrition Manager - Fox Chase Cancer Center and Temple University Hospital - Jeanes Campus

Temple University Health System

Jaylin Kellogg

Nutrition Support Dietitian

Fox Chase Cancer Center


Andrea Barnes


Empower Nutrition and Wellness, LLC

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