From diagnosis to treatment to recovery, each phase of your cancer will be challenging. Everything from your appetite to your eating habits to how your body processes nutrients can change. And since cancer and its treatment draw greatly on your body's nutrient stores, it's important to pay special attention to nutrition. Proper nutritional support is crucial to keeping up your strength and energy—Talk to your healthcare team about your nutritional needs and options as you go through treatment.
Smart nutrition can help you keep up your energy, support your immune system and manage the side effects of your treatment. That's why it's important to maintain your inner arsenal of protein and calories. Use the resources found here to help you use nutrition to your advantage throughout your journey. Be sure to consult with your healthcare team about what's right for you.
Nutritional support helps you become an active participant in your battle with cancer. With it, you have the power to help:
In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that individuals receiving nutritional support fared significantly better in terms of maintaining body weight, nutritional status and quality of life when compared to a control group.
Despite these findings, an estimated 40—80 percent of all cancer patients do not get the daily nutrients they need. If you become malnourished, your immune system can be affected, which means you may be reducing your tolerance to, or the effectiveness of treatments.
A healthy diet with a variety of foods is key. It's important to make sure you eat nutrient-rich foods with:
Keep in mind that side effects from treatments, your body's response to tumors and certain medications can not only change your appetite, they can also contribute to changes in the way you process nutrients. Be sure to talk to your healthcare professional to ensure your diet gives you the nutrients you need.