Cancer Treatment: Pre-Treatment Eating Tips
When your cancer was first diagnosed, your doctor talked to you about a treatment plan. This may have involved surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and biologic immunotherapy or some combination of those treatments.
All of these methods of treating cancer kill cells. In the process of killing the cancer cells, some healthy cells are also damaged. That is what causes the side effects of cancer treatment. Side effects that can affect your ability to eat include:
You may or may not have any of these side effects. Many factors determine whether you will have any and how severe they will be. These factors include the type of cancer you have, the part of your body being treated, the type and length of treatment, and the dose of treatment. The good news is that if you do have side effects they can often be well-controlled. Most side effects also go away after treatment ends. Your doctor or nurse can tell you more about your chances of having side effects and what they might be like.
Nutrition Recommendations Can Be Different for Cancer Patients
Nutrition recommendations for cancer patients are different because they are
designed to help build up your strength and help you withstand the effects of
your cancer and its treatment. When you are healthy, eating enough food to get
the nutrients you need is usually not a problem. During cancer treatment,
however, this can become a challenge, especially if you have side effects or
simply don't feel well.
Last Editorial Review: 7/7/2004