Importance of Proper Nutrition During Cancer Treatment

Importance of Proper Nutrition During Cancer Treatment


Healthy Choices


When you are diagnosed with cancer, everything changes.  From that moment on, you are in fighting mode to beat the disease.  Cancer can take a major toll on a person’s body, leaving them feeling sick and with little energy.  One thing everything patient needs to do during treatment, is get proper nutrition to help fight the disease.  This can be difficult for many cancer patients who have diminished appetites or who feel downright nauseated during cancer treatment.  But, in spite of the challenges that a patient will face during treatment, proper nutrition must be maintained to stay in fighting shape, no matter what.

Anyone who is fighting cancer needs to eat a well balanced diet.  You cannot expect your body to be able to fight off a disease if it is not being well fed.  A well rounded, plant-based diet will put your body in the best position possible to beat cancer and thrive after treatment.   Someone in the fight of their life needs a lot of healthy fruits and vegetables to ensure that bodily functions are being maintained.  Additionally, those undergoing treatment need protein for strength and endurance.  And, cancer patients just need calorically-dense food to stay strong and as energized as possible.    One problem many patients face is a diminished appetite.  But, just because a patient does not want to eat, does not mean they don’t need to eat.  WebMD points out the importance of nutrition and how to maintain a diet in spite of the challenges of cancer treatment, “‘When you’re being treated for cancer, it’s important to avoid extreme diets that may leave you short on key nutrients,” says Veronica McLymont, PhD, RD, director of food and nutrition services at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Instead, focus on eating a balanced diet. Ask your oncologist or a nutritionist if you need extra calories and protein to keep your strength up during treatment…. Lack of appetite is common during cancer treatment. Some treatments can even make food taste unpleasant. “Even though you don’t feel like eating, it’s important to get adequate nutrition,” says Sarah Rafat, RD, a senior dietitian at MD Anderson Cancer Center.”  WebMD goes on to offer helpful suggestions for how to achieve getting enough calories, even when patients do not feel well.  They suggest eating smaller meals more often, eating calorically dense foods and keeping favorite foods nearby for whenever the mood to eat strikes.  When a well balanced diet is achieved during cancer treatment, it can greatly improve the outlook for the patient and give them the sustenance they need to beat the disease.


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