Chemotherapy can affect taste and smell function. This may contribute to the high prevalence of overweight and metabolic syndrome in testicular cancer survivors (TCS). Aims of the study were to evaluate taste and smell function and possible consequences for dietary intake, food preference, and body composition in TCS treated with cisplatin-based chemotherapy.Methods
Fifty TCS, 1–7 years post-chemotherapy, and 50 age-matched healthy men participated. Taste and smell function were measured using taste strips and ‘Sniffin’ Sticks’, respectively. Dietary intake was investigated using a food frequency questionnaire. Food preference was assessed using food pictures varying in taste (sweet/savoury) and fat or protein content. Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry was performed to measure body composition. Presence of metabolic syndrome and hypogonadism were assessed.Results
TCS had a lower total taste function, a higher bitter taste threshold, higher Body Mass Index (BMI), and more (abdominal) fat than controls (p < 0.05). No differences in smell function and dietary intake were found. Testosterone level was an important determinant of body composition in TCS (p = 0.016).Conclusion
Although taste function was impaired in TCS, this was not related to a different dietary intake compared to controls. Lower testosterone levels were associated with a higher BMI, fat mass, and abdominal fat distribution in TCS.
- Body composition