Nutrition


Cancer treatment can greatly affect your nutritional needs. It is important to learn what to do, and what to avoid, during treatment. We’ve put together some resources that can help you with the DOs and DON’Ts, deal with side effects and maintain overall health. For upcoming nutrition classes, click here to download the calendar.

To contact our Dietitian, please call 561.955.5637.

CANCER AND NUTRITION

Eating right, being active, and maintaining a healthy weight are important ways to reduce the risk of cancer and to help fight the disease. Some simple lifestyle habits can make a difference – not only during your treatment but for the rest of your life. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), “Scientists estimate that about a third of the most common cancers could be prevented by eating a healthy diet, being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight.”

10 recommendations from the AICR Second Expert Report:

  1. Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight.
  2. Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day.
  3. Avoid sugary drinks. Limit consumption of energy-dense foods.
  4. Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes such as beans.
  5. Limit consumption of red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) and avoid processed meats.
  6. If consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to two for men and one for women a day.
  7. Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with salt (sodium).
  8. Don't use supplements to protect against cancer.
  9. It is best for mothers to breastfeed exclusively for up to six months and then add other liquids and foods.
  10. After treatment, cancer survivors should follow the recommendations for cancer prevention.

Additional Global Web Links:
American Institute for Cancer Research (www.aicr.org)
American Cancer Society  (www.cancer.org)
National Cancer Institute  (www.cancer.gov)

CANCER AND NUTRITION COUNSELING SERVICES

Lynn Cancer Institute has a Registered Dietitian (RD), who is also a Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition. Our RD, Marie Morande, is on-site and will help you learn how proper diet and exercise can help you when it comes to battling cancer. She will work one-on-one, or through group lectures, to help you improve quality of life, minimize side effects of treatment, and possibly reduce the risk of disease progression.


You may benefit from nutritional counseling if you are experiencing any of the following:

  1. Unintentional weight loss of more than 10 lbs over a six month period or over two pounds in one week.
  2. Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  3. Receiving tube feeding or Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN)
  4. Diagnosis of Cachexia/Anorexia
  5. Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea for more than three days
  6. Unusual dietary practices such as excessive herbal, vitamin, or mineral supplements.

To contact our Dietitian, please call 561.955.5637.

Additional Global Web Links:
American Institute for Cancer Research (www.aicr.org)
American Cancer Society  (www.cancer.org)
National Cancer Institute  (www.cancer.gov)

HOW CANCER TREATMENTS CAN AFFECT EATING

SURGERY
How it Can Affect Eating:
Increases the need for good nutrition. May slow digestion. May lessen the ability of the mouth, throat, and stomach to work properly. Adequate nutrition helps wound-healing and recovery.
Side Effects:
Before surgery, a high-protein, high-calorie diet may be prescribed if a patient is underweight or weak. After surgery, some patients may not be able to eat normally at first. They may receive nutrients through a needle in their vein (such as in total parenteral nutrition), or through a tube in their nose or stomach.

RADIATION THERAPY
How it Can Affect Eating:
As it damages cancer cells, it also may affect healthy cells and healthy parts of the body.
Side Effects:
Treatment of head, neck or chest may cause: dry mouth, sore mouth, sore throat, difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), change in taste of food, dental problems and/or increased phlegm. Treatment of stomach or pelvis may cause: nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, cramps and/or bloating.

CHEMOTHERAPY
How it Can Affect Eating:
As it destroys cancer cells, it also may affect the digestive system and the desire or ability to eat.
Side Effects:
Nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation, sore mouth or throat, weight gain or loss and/or change in taste of food.

BIOLOGICAL THERAPY (IMMUNOTHERAPY)
How it Can Affect Eating:
As it stimulates your immune system to fight cancer cells, it can affect the desire or ability to eat.
Side Effects:
Nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, sore mouth, severe weight loss, dry mouth, change in taste of food, muscle aches, fatigue and/or fever.

HORMONAL THERAPY
How it Can Affect Eating:
Some types can increase appetite and change how the body handles fluids.
Side Effects:
Changes in appetite and/or fluid retention.

HOW TO COPE WITH THE EFFECTS OF CANCER TREATMENTS

Cancer treatment may affect your ability to digest, absorb and use food. If a form of cancer treatment is causing dietary side effects, discuss it with your doctor and health care team. There may be ways to ease the problem, such as changing treatment levels or drugs. A registered dietitian may also have some eating suggestions to help minimize the side effects.

Below are strategies for coping with some of the side effects of treatment:

TOOTH DECAY
NAUSEA
VOMITING
ACQUIRED FOOD AVERSION
DIARRHEA
CONSTIPATION
SORE MOUTH OR THROAT
DRY MOUTH
DIFFICULTY SWALLOWING
CHANGED SENSE OF TASTE
LOSS OF APPETITE, WEIGHT LOSS AND UNDERNUTRITION
WEIGHT GAIN
FLUID RETENTION
LACTOSE INTOLERANCE

 

CANCER FRIENDLY RECIPES

Nausea:
Lemon Flip
Whole Wheat Pumpkin-Ginger Muffins
Beef and Vegetable Barley Soup

Diarrhea:
Lactose-Free Double Chocolate Pudding
Fruity Oatmeal
Mini Shepherd’s Pies

Constipation:
Apple/Prune Sauce
Bulger Salad with Dried Fruit
Minestrone Salad

Sore Mouth or Throat:
Banana Milkshake
Fortified Milk
Fruit and Cream
Carrot Soufflé

Difficulty Swallowing:
Rosemary-White Bean Soup
Fruity Banana Smoothie
Ribollita

Change in Sense of Taste:
Lemon Chicken
Pesto Pizzas
Veggie Pita Bread Salad

Loss of Appetite or Weight Loss:
High-Protein Milkshake
Fortified Milk
Peanut Butter Snack Spread
Fruit and Cream

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Are there foods that will help with dry mouth and swallowing problems?
Are there foods that will help with my loss of appetite and nausea?
Can I reduce my fatigue with nutrition?
Is there a diet to help improve anemia?
Should I be concerned about weight loss?
Should I be concerned about weight gain?
Should I try to lose weight?
What is a good way to protect my bone strength?
What is a good way to control symptoms of menopause?
Can changes in diet and physical activity help with lymphedema?
Is regular exercise useful after a diagnosis of cancer?
Are there reasons why I should not exercise?
How do I select an exercise program that is right for me?
Should I use vitamin and mineral supplements?
Can I get the nutrients in fruits and vegetables in a pill?
Should I take antioxidants?
Should I take supplements containing beta-carotene?
Should I take soy supplements?
How do I know if a treatment is safe and one that I should try?
How do I select a diet that is right for me?
How many servings of vegetables and fruits should I eat every day?
Can I get needed nutrients from fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables?
Should I be juicing my fruits and vegetables?
Should I be concerned about pesticides in my foods?
How do I avoid illnesses from foods that may contain germs?
How much water should I drink?
Should I avoid alcohol?
Should I limit my caffeine intake?
Should I eat high fiber foods?
Should I reduce my fat intake?
Should I avoid refined grains and sugar?
Should I become a vegetarian?


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