Dieting, Food - General, Health and Diseases

Being Proactive With Nutrition As A Cancer Patient


Picture by Bill Ebbesen, use under Creative Commons

If you’re a regular reader to the blog, you’ll know that sometimes we discuss my own personal health struggles living with fibromyalgia, chronic anemia and migraines. But today we venture away from those ailments to hear from Jillian McKee, an advocate from the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. She has healthy eating tips for people with cancer.

Unfortunately, in today’s world one of the sad realities is that most people in some way have been affected by cancer. It has either taken away a loved one or a friend, or affected him/her personally. For me, my husband’s mother was taken by the evil C-word when he was a child. It also recently stunned the life of a dear friend.

While there is no cure for cancer, there are treatments to help combat it. But after the chemo and other therapies of modern medicine, some times people want to try other methods to improve their life and well-being. There are complementary and alternative treatments – such as dietary changes – to help a person be more proactive and take control of his or her health.

Take it away, Jillian…

Many doctors will urge you to be proactive with nutrition from the start of being diagnosed with cancer. It’s imperative that you maintain a healthy weight because it will help with such things as chemotherapy and radiation. As you undergo various treatments, it’s going to have an adverse effect on your body. The goal then will be to maintain the weight despite everything else that is going on.

When you put emphasis on nutrition from the very beginning, it will be easy to maintain while undergoing treatment. If you wait, it can cause more stress, which can increase the other side effects that you’re experiencing.

Symptoms of mesothelioma and other cancers can include a sore throat. Oncolink suggests focusing on nutrition when undergoing treatments of the head and neck area because it will help with swallowing. Often times, you may end up needing a stomach tube towards the end of treatment because your throat and neck area may be very sore. Get used to eating high calorie foods that are soft in nature. This includes yogurt, oatmeal, canned fruits and other foods that can be easily tolerated.

Your doctor will recommend what your ideal weight should be. You may then have to meet with a nutritionist to learn about what kind of action to take. The diet you are currently on may or may not work for you now that you have been diagnosed with cancer. It’s important to listen to the recommendations given to you and follow them.

Once you begin treatment, your body will go through many different changes. Regardless of whether you go through surgery, oral medications, radiation or chemotherapy, you will have to make some changes to your diet. Some of this will be to overcome nausea and constipation. Others may be to increase calories in order to keep energy levels high.

Many people who complain about being fatigued and in pain do not follow proper nutritional guidelines. Fruit and vegetables, high calorie/high protein items, and other foods should be integrated. Anything high in carbs without being high in protein should be avoided. Saturated fats should be eliminated whenever possible, which means fewer of the energy-draining fried foods.

Do what’s best for your body when diagnosed with cancer. The sooner you start following proper nutrition guidelines, the better you will feel. Then, treatments will be much less painful and you will in be better spirits throughout the fight.

About the Author

Bringing a wealth of personal and professional experience to the organization, Jillian McKee has worked as the Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance since June of 2009. Jillian spends most her time on outreach efforts and spreading information about the integration of complementary and alternative medicine when used in conjunction with traditional cancer treatment.

You can read more from Jillian here… (Please note that the opinions expressed on this external website do not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of All’s Fare Food Blog. Also, please do not accept this as medical advice or treatment. Always consult your own doctor and health care team before making any decisions.)


One thought on “Being Proactive With Nutrition As A Cancer Patient

  1. Pingback: Mouse Bites for September 2, 2012 | Eating WDW

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