Nutrition

Cancer itself, and cancer treatment can significantly impact nutritional needs and food assimilation. Find here general tips that might help you reducing the most common side effects that may hinder the nutrition of people with cancer.

Managing Loss of Appetite

Managing loss of appetite during cancer treatment

During your treatment you may experience changes in your desire to eat. Not eating lead to weight loss, and this can cause weakness and fatigue. Eating a healthy diet is an important part of taking care of yourself, especially while undergoing cancer treatment. Try to eat several snacks throughout the day, avoid liquids with meals, keep high-calorie and high-protein snacks on hand, and eat your favorite foods any time of the day.

 

Source:
Reprinted by the permission of the American Cancer Society, Inc. www.cancer.org. All rights reserved.

Managing Weight Gain

Nutritional support for cancer patients

Some patients find they gain weight during treatment rather than losing it. If you notice you’re gaining weight, it’s important to talk to your cancer care team so you can find out what may be causing this change. Fluid retention is a common cause, and in this case, you may need to limit the amount of salt consumption in your diet. If your weight gain is a result of increased food intake and reduced activity, you may need to follow a reduced-calorie diet.

 

Source: 
Reprinted by the permission of the American Cancer Society, Inc. www.cancer.org. All rights reserved.

Nutritional Supplements

Guidance about cancer fighting supplements

Most of the vitamins and minerals the body needs are found naturally in foods. However, you may choose to take a daily nutritional supplement to ensure you’re not deficient in the vitamins and minerals you need. Some patients find this useful when experiencing treatment-related side effects that make it difficult to manage a balanced diet. If you’re thinking of taking a supplement, discuss this with your doctor who will advise on which supplements to use with your treatment. The nutritional supplement you choose is important – make sure there’s evidence to show safety and effectiveness in patients with cancer.

 

Source: 
Reprinted by the permission of the American Cancer Society, Inc. www.cancer.org. All rights reserved.

Managing Constipation

Healthy diet for cancer patients

Pain medication, changes in your nutritional intake, and being less active can cause your bowels to move less often and stools to become harder to pass (constipation). If you’re constipated, try including high-fiber foods and drinking extra fluids in your diet during the day. Eat at regular times, and try to increase your physical activity if possible. You may also ask your dietitian to recommend a high-calorie, high-protein, fiber-containing liquid supplement if needed.

 

Source: 
Reprinted by the permission of the American Cancer Society, Inc. www.cancer.org. All rights reserved.

Managing Diarrhea

Advice to control diarrhea during cancer treatment

Cancer treatments and medicines can cause your bowels to move much more often and become very loose. Uncontrolled diarrhea can lead to fluid loss (dehydration), weight loss, poor appetite and weakness. To help control diarrhea, you can avoid high-fiber foods in your diet such as nuts, seeds, whole grains, vegetables and fruits, which might make diarrhea worse. You should also avoid high-fat foods, as they can also make diarrhea worse. Stay away from gassy foods and carbonated drinks, too. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids during the day to prevent dehydration.

 

Source: 
Reprinted by the permission of the American Cancer Society, Inc. www.cancer.org. All rights reserved.

Managing Fatigue

Managing fatigue during cancer treatment

Fatigue is a common problem for people with cancer and those undergoing treatment. You can try drinking plenty of fluids as dehydration can make fatigue worse. You can also include some protein, fat and fiber with every meal and snack as part of your daily diet intake. Keeping your blood sugar levels stable in this way should sustain the feeling of energy you get from the food you eat.

 

Source: 
Reprinted by the permission of the American Cancer Society, Inc. www.cancer.org. All rights reserved.

Managing Mouth sores and throat pain

Coping with a sore mouth or throat due to cancer treatment

Some chemotherapy drugs or radiation to the head and neck area can cause a sore mouth or throat. Eating soft, bland foods and lukewarm or cool foods can be soothing if you experience any of these problems. There are also some products that can help if you experience oral side effects. Talk to your doctor about what's available alongside your cancer treatment.

 

Source: 
Reprinted by the permission of the American Cancer Society, Inc. www.cancer.org. All rights reserved.

Managing Swallowing problems

Advice to help swallowing problems as one of the cancer treatment side effects

It’s possible that your cancer treatment will cause trouble with swallowing. If this is the case, you should try to include soft or liquid foods in your diet. If you’re unable to eat enough regular foods to meet your nutritional needs during cancer treatment, you could drink high-calorie and high-protein liquids.

 

Source: 
Reprinted by the permission of the American Cancer Society, Inc. www.cancer.org. All rights reserved. 

​Managing Nausea

Advice managing nausea during cancer treatment

Nausea, with or without vomiting, is common in patients undergoing cancer treatment. There are medicines that can help to manage these symptoms. In addition, a number of nutritional adaptations can be made to optimize the management of this particular side effect of cancer treatment. These include eating snacks or small meals throughout the day; incorporating dry foods in your diet like crackers, toast, cereals; eating foods that don’t have strong odors; and sipping clear liquids frequently.

 

Source: 
Reprinted by the permission of the American Cancer Society, Inc. www.cancer.org. All rights reserved.

Managing Taste and Smell changes

 Taste and smell changes with cancer treatment

In some patients, cancer treatment changes their senses of taste and smell. Patients frequently describe having a bitter or metallic taste in their mouth, which understandably affects appetite. If you’re having these problems, try flavoring foods in your diet with new tastes or spices, season food with tart flavors, like lemon, and consider adding sweeteners if you experience a salty taste. It’s also important to keep your mouth clean by rinsing and brushing, which may help foods taste better.

 

Source: 
Reprinted by the permission of the American Cancer Society, Inc. www.cancer.org. All rights reserved.