Exploring the Unique Nutritional Needs of Cancer Patients

When you’re undergoing cancer treatment, meeting your nutritional needs will help you feel better and keep your side effects in check so you have the strength to fight your disease. The nutrition you need changes when you undergo cancer treatment. When you’re at the hospital receiving care, ask for advice about what foods are good for you. Here are some of the things you should keep in mind about nutrition while you’re fighting cancer.

Food Safety Matters

If you’re receiving chemotherapy for cancer, your immune system may be compromised by your treatment. It is more important than ever to pay attention to food safety to avoid germs. Be sure to wash your hands before eating or cooking and wash all fruits and veggies before eating. Avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw meats away from cooked foods and make sure foods are cooked thoroughly before eating. Choose pasteurized milk and juice and avoid raw honey. While dining out, skip salad bars and sushi.

Your Appetite May Change

Surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy can all affect your appetite. If you’re suffering from nausea and vomiting, getting the right nutrition can be challenging. However, it’s important to still eat as well as you can to support your recovery. Try eating smaller meals or snacks when you’re not feeling well, and avoid fried, greasy foods that are hard to digest. On days that you feel better, make an effort to eat a normal diet. If the side effects of treatment are consistently making it difficult to eat, consult your doctor for advice.

Fat and Alcohol Consumption May Be Risky

There are studies that indicate that saturated fat and alcohol could be linked to the development of certain kinds of cancer. Consuming them may also impact the risk of cancer coming back in the future. Talk to your doctor about your particular case and whether these items are safe for you during cancer care.

At Regional Medical Center of San Jose, our oncology teams are dedicated to supporting you during and after your cancer care. You can learn more about our San Jose hospital’s cancer care program and request a referral to a specialist by calling our hospital at (408) 259-4000.

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