Eating Right – Cancer And Diet
Give yourself a nutritional advantage
Take charge of your diet and give yourself a nutritional advantage during radiation treatment.
If you are about to go through radiation therapy for cancer, you may feel like you have little or no control over what is happening to you. However, there is one thing that you have complete control over that can make a real difference during your treatment: Making sure you eat well and practice good nutrition.
Why is good cancer nutrition so important?
Proper nutrition is an important part of cancer treatment. The right diet can strengthen the body's defenses, promote healing and can result in a quicker recovery period. Along with physical activity, it can promote healing, maintain strength and help rebuild those normal cells that have been affected by the cancer treatment.
Side effects of treatment such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and decreased appetite can greatly affect nutrition status. Researchers have found that people who eat well during their treatment are better able to tolerate these side effects. Here you will find common issues related to nutrition and information on how to deal with nutrition-related side effects that can occur during cancer treatment. For more information, ask to speak to a Registered Dietitian who can help you make changes to your diet.
A healthy, balanced diet is important for your daily life. It's especially important during cancer treatment. Healthy eating during treatment will help you:
- Manage symptoms and side effects
- Maintain or improve weight and strength
- Prevent treatment interruptions
When planning your meals, build a healthy plate:
- Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables
- Choose whole grains (as tolerated)
- Vary your protein choices
- Choose low-fat dairy products (as tolerated)
- Limit refined sugars
- Choose healthy fats
- Incorporate physical activity
Help is a phone call away
Eating well and getting the proper cancer nutrition you need during treatment is not always easy. Depending on your type of cancer, the radiation may make eating difficult or suppress your appetite. The better prepared you are, the easier it will be to get the nutrition your body needs.
Have questions? Need support? Call the 21st Century Oncology Nutrition Line at (866) 585-3443 for help from our Registered Dietitian.