Taste and smell changes
This information helps you understand more about how and why cancer and some cancer treatments can change the way some foods taste, smell or feel, and how to manage these changes.
Learn more about:
- How do we experience flavour?
- How does cancer and treatment affect taste, smell and touch?
- What changes could I experience?
- How long do changes last?
- How to manage taste, smell and touch changes
Changes to the taste, smell or feeling of food are a common side effect for people before, during and after treatment for cancer. This can affect what foods you are able to eat and enjoy eating, and may contribute to a loss of appetite and weight loss. This may lead to malnutrition, which should be avoided as it can result in increased side effects from treatment and loss of muscle strength.
Podcast: Appetite Loss and Nausea
Emma McKie, Clinical Dietitian, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Cecilia Barling, Consumer; Dawn Bedwell 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Queensland, QLD; Gillian Blanchard, Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Calvary Mater Newcastle, NSW; Dr Karen Taylor, Radiation Oncologist, GenesisCare Radiation Oncology, VIC.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.