Cancer Treatment - Managing Eating Problems
All the methods of treating cancer - surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and biological therapy (immunotherapy) - are very powerful. Although these treatments target the fast-growing cancer cells in your body, healthy cells can also be damaged. Healthy cells that normally grow and divide rapidly, such as those in the mouth, digestive tract, and hair, are often affected by cancer treatments. The damage to healthy cells is what produces the unpleasant side effects that cause eating problems.
Side effects of cancer treatment vary from patient to patient. The part of the body being treated, the type and length of treatment, and the dose of treatment determine whether side effects will occur. The good news is that not everyone has side effects during treatment, and most side effects go away when treatment ends. Side effects can also be well-controlled with new drugs. Talk to your doctor about possible side effects from your treatment and what can be done about them.
Remember, there aren't any hard and fast nutrition rules during cancer treatment. Some patients may continue to enjoy eating and have a normal appetite throughout most of their cancer treatment. Others may have days when they don't feel like eating at all; even the thought of food may make them feel sick.
Here are some great tips to keep in mind if you or someone you know is receiving cancer treatment:
For more, please visit Focus Topics On Cancer.
Source: Cancer Net (http://www.cancernet.gov/)
Last Editorial Review: 7/7/2004