Cancer treatment can greatly affect your nutritional needs. It is important to learn what to do, and what to avoid, during treatment. We’ve put together some resources that can help you with the DOs and DON’Ts, deal with side effects and maintain overall health. To view upcoming nutrition classes, click here.

To contact our Dietitian, please call 561-955-5637.

  • Eating right, being active, and maintaining a healthy weight are important ways to reduce the risk of cancer and to help fight the disease. Some simple lifestyle habits can make a difference - not only during your treatment but for the rest of your life. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), “Scientists estimate that about a third of the most common cancers could be prevented by eating a healthy diet, being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight.”

    10 recommendations from the AICR Second Expert Report:

    1. Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight.
    2. Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day.
    3. Avoid sugary drinks. Limit consumption of energy-dense foods.
    4. Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes such as beans.
    5. Limit consumption of red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) and avoid processed meats.
    6. If consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to two for men and one for women a day.
    7. Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with salt (sodium).
    8. Don't use supplements to protect against cancer.
    9. It is best for mothers to breastfeed exclusively for up to six months and then add other liquids and foods.
    10. After treatment, cancer survivors should follow the recommendations for cancer prevention.

    Additional Global Web Links:
    American Institute for Cancer Research (www.aicr.org)
    American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org)
    National Cancer Institute (www.cancer.gov)

  • SURGERY

    How it Can Affect Eating:
    Increases the need for good nutrition. May slow digestion. May lessen the ability of the mouth, throat, and stomach to work properly. Adequate nutrition helps wound-healing and recovery.
    Side Effects:
    Before surgery, a high-protein, high-calorie diet may be prescribed if a patient is underweight or weak. After surgery, some patients may not be able to eat normally at first. They may receive nutrients through a needle in their vein (such as in total parenteral nutrition), or through a tube in their nose or stomach.

    RADIATION THERAPY

    How it Can Affect Eating:
    As it damages cancer cells, it also may affect healthy cells and healthy parts of the body.
    Side Effects:
    Treatment of head, neck or chest may cause: dry mouth, sore mouth, sore throat, difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), change in taste of food, dental problems and/or increased phlegm. Treatment of stomach or pelvis may cause: nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, cramps and/or bloating.

    CHEMOTHERAPY

    How it Can Affect Eating:
    As it destroys cancer cells, it also may affect the digestive system and the desire or ability to eat.
    Side Effects:
    Nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation, sore mouth or throat, weight gain or loss and/or change in taste of food.

    BIOLOGICAL THERAPY (IMMUNOTHERAPY)

    How it Can Affect Eating:
    As it stimulates your immune system to fight cancer cells, it can affect the desire or ability to eat.
    Side Effects:
    Nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, sore mouth, severe weight loss, dry mouth, change in taste of food, muscle aches, fatigue and/or fever.

    HORMONAL THERAPY

    How it Can Affect Eating:
    Some types can increase appetite and change how the body handles fluids.
    Side Effects:
    Changes in appetite and/or fluid retention.

  • ancer treatment may affect your ability to digest, absorb and use food. If a form of cancer treatment is causing dietary side effects, discuss it with your doctor and health care team. There may be ways to ease the problem, such as changing treatment levels or drugs. A registered dietitian may also have some eating suggestions to help minimize the side effects.

    Click here for strategies for coping with some of the side effects of treatment.