English for PTA


Being told you have cancer is probably everyone’s nightmare. It doesn’t end there. Tumours of the digestive tract, for example, can cause constriction and pain in the surrounding tissue and a feeling of being full. Many patients find it hard to eat normally.

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The effect of tumour-​growth on neurotransmitters is a further aspect of how tumours lead to lack of appetite, nausea and vomiting. Not to mention the effects of chemotherapy and medication. That`s why correct nutrition plays a considerable role in the recovery of cancer patients. Especially elderly patients have problems recovering their appetites. Fortunately, a lot can be done to help the patient on the road to recovery: nutrition for the needs of patients who have difficulty chewing and swallowing, or simply have no appetite. Female customer: Good morning, do you speak English?

PTA: Hello, yes I do. How may I help you?
It’s my mother-in-law, she has just finished a course of chemotherapy and she is now recovering at home. The problem is this: she doesn’t seem to have any appetite. And she was already very slim when she started treatment, but now she’s just skin and bone.

How did she cope with the chemo?
She suffered terribly from nausea and diarrhoea, but the chemo seems to have worked.

These problems are not unusual. In fact, quite a lot of older patients suffer from malnutrition – especially after a chemo.
Yes, my husband told me that’s what they said at the hospital. Is there anything that you can recommend?

Certainly. We have this complete drink, which comes in a variety of different flavours.
My mother-in-law’s doctor recommended that we get a dietary supplement for her at the pharmacy! What does it contain?

Each solution contains a high- calorie, protein-rich drink with all the nutrients necessary to help people get back on their feet. We`ve got different flavours and also a tasteless one.
Does it contain a lot of sugar? A lot of those supermarket drinks a full of sugar.

No, the composition corresponds to the daily needs.
What is the dosage?

Five bottles a day if it is to be used as a replacement for normal nutrition, and two to three bottles a day as a supplement. The drinks are drunk slowly, distributed throughout the day. You should also make sure that she gets enough other fluids.
Okay, I’ll take one packet to get started and see how we get on with that.

We have it in stock, so if you need it again in a few days, I can reserve a pack for you.
That would be very nice, thank you. Bye, see you soon!

You are welcome. Goodbye.

You can find this article at PTA IN DER APOTHEKE 11/19 on page 146.

Catherine Croghan, Lecturer in English and native speaker

Dietary SupplementsNahrungsergänzung
lack of appetiteAppetitlosigkeit
nauseaÜbelkeit, Brechreiz
not to mentionganz zu schweigen (von)
elderlyältere Menschen
road to recoveryWeg der Besserung
a course of(med.) Behandlung
copees schaffen (etwas Schwieriges bewältigen)
in stockauf Lager