Eating well during cancer treatment

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This article from Australian Healthy Food Guide offers some tips for eating well during cancer treatment. Dietitian Charlotte Graydon discusses some of the common eating problems, and solutions, for cancer patients.

There are few families who haven’t been affected by cancer in some way. Cancer treatment and surgery are major issues to face during this time. And eating well brings yet another set of challenges into the mix.

Your body is under a lot of stress during treatment and, while maintaining a healthy diet is essential, it can be difficult. The cancer itself can cause taste changes, fatigue, anxiety, depression and the sensation of feeling full quickly. In fact, weight loss is often the first symptom patients notice when undergoing treatment, and it occurs in up to 80 per cent of those with cancer.

Treatments can also affect your ability to eat well. Some of the side effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy can be nausea, pain, diarrhoea and mucositis (inflammation and ulceration of the lining of the digestive tract), so you may not feel like eating much. Also, depending on the location of your cancer, surgery may interfere with your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from your food.” – Charlotte Graydon, Dietitian

Some of the eating problems (and solutions) she covers include:

  • Reduced appetite
  • Taste and smell changes
  • Nausea
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhoea

Cancer Advisor has a range of resources on nutrition, but we’re always looking for more content. Leave a comment below, share your own story or recommend a resource.

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