How does your diet affect your cancer care?

Cancer affects virtually every aspect of a person’s life, including his or her diet. Cancer and cancer treatment can make it more difficult for you to eat the nutritious foods your body needs. It can also interfere with your body’s ability to use ingested nutrients. At MountainView Hospital, our oncology specialists are experts at finding creative solutions for each cancer patient’s unique challenges. We invite cancer patients, families and caregivers to attend our ongoing cancer education classes, and become empowered to live life well despite the diagnosis.

Benefits of good nutrition during cancer care
The side effects of cancer treatment can be difficult to cope with. Good nutrition might not banish side effects entirely, but it can help your body tolerate them more easily. Good nutrition during cancer care can also help you:

  • Maintain energy and fight fatigue
  • Feel better and stronger
  • Reduce your risk of infections
  • Support your body’s ability to heal

Ways cancer can affect nutrition
It’s possible for certain tumors to interfere with the way the body normally uses nutrients. Patients with tumors of the intestines or stomach are especially at risk of problems using proteins, carbohydrates and fats . When this happens, the patient can become malnourished, even if he or she thinks the food consumption is adequate.

Other patients may find it difficult to maintain good nutrition because of the following:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Mouth sores
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Pain
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Changes in taste or smell

Tips for improving nutrition during cancer care
You have a unique experience with cancer and its side effects. The most effective way to find solutions that work for you is to talk with your cancer care team. Treatments are available for many of the common symptoms of cancer and side effects of cancer treatments.

Your doctor can also refer you to a nutritionist and give you some tips for maintaining good nutrition. These may include the following:

  • Choose high-calorie beverages
  • Eat smaller meals more frequently
  • Have nutritious, protein-packed snack foods readily available
  • Make meals with appealing smells and textures

Remember that it’s possible for multivitamins and herbal supplements to interfere with your cancer treatment. Talk to your doctor before taking any dietary supplements during cancer treatment.

MountainView Hospital is pleased to offer the superior cancer care and support services our patients deserve for the best possible outcome. Our hospital in Las Vegas maintains a serene, peaceful Oncology Unit, staffed by compassionate and highly trained specialists. Call (702) 962-5021 to request a referral.