The Impact of Nutrition on Cancer

The Impact of Nutrition on Cancer
The Impact of Nutrition on Cancer
September 28, 2016

We all need food to survive. The need for a proper and adequate nutrition is even more pressing for cancer victims. When the news of cancer is broken to victims, they often begin to emaciate because of psychological distress. The excessive loss of weight has been known to have a negative impact on their prognosis.

Dietary changes can be effective in helping cancer patients cope with the situation

A balanced diet is one that contains all the nutrients needed by the body in the right proportion. When a cancer patient is fed with balanced diet, it helps them to maintain a high energy level and reduce weight loss. A balanced diet will also help the body to fight off infections and help them recover quickly from opportunistic infections.

Read also: Breaking Bad News to Mesothelioma Victims and Families

Diet can make coping with various side effects of mesothelioma treatment easier

One of the emerging therapies that have a wide usage is radiation therapy. Ionizing radiation is focused at the position of the cancerous tumor to try and kill the actively dividing cells to stop them from dividing further. This therapy comes with a number of side effects which can be ameliorated by giving the patient a balanced diet.

Patients can become confused of the most suitable nutrition

No doubt, there is a vast amount of foods to choose from and for a patient trying to use diet to fight the cancer but it may become confusing picking the right diet that would help their condition. At this point, it is important they seek advice from a professional registered dietitian. They will provide the patient with handy information on their nutrition.

Read also: The Need for Mesothelioma Patients to Plan Realistic New Year Resolution

My Plate replaced the Food Guide Pyramid

This piece of documents was the place people turned to years ago for dietary guide. Many years after the existence of Food Guide Pyramid, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) changed it to My Plate. My plate still defaulted in giving the people healthy diet nutrition.

The lacuna created by the first two documents was filled by Healthy Eating Plate

Since the first two dietary guides did not make it explanatory on what a healthy diet constitutes, there was a need for it to be modified. To that effect, the Harvard School of Public Health came up with the Healthy Eating Plate which contained guidelines on the composition of a healthy diet with pictures to show how the rations should look on your plate.

Read also: Different Questions You are Expected to Ask Your Mesothelioma Oncologist

Food supplements may become a necessity

For a cancer patient, even the Healthy Eating Plate may not be enough to give them the nutrition and energy to stay awake, therefore, their dietician or doctor may place them on additional nutritional supplements. Note that most of the available supplements will interfere with your treatment and should be avoided. This is why your oncologist has to be the one to decide if you need one.

Treatment can affect your appetite for food

It has been proven that every patient will undergo some changes in their ability to eat when they are sick or when they are undergoing treatment. It is good to work with your dietician upfront to limit the impact of this treatment on your appetite.

A healthy weight before surgery will help your wounds heal faster

Surgery is often used to remove the cancerous tumor. Some surgery makes matters complex because you may need to be fed intravenously. Gaining some weight if you are underweight can help your wounds heal faster and help your body fight off infections. Mesothelioma survivors greatly benefit from food and herbs as it has been reported that a pleural mesothelioma patient survived seven years without chemotherapy but by simply changing nutritional regimen.

Read also: How Mesothelioma Caregivers can Cope with the Stress

Article highlights

  • Being diagnosed of cancer can bring psychological trauma.
  • A balanced diet contains the right proportion of nutrients.
  • Balanced diet can reduce the side effects of radiation treatment.
  • Infections can be fought with balanced diet.
  • Gaining weight before surgery can help wounds heal faster.
  • Sickness in general is bound to affect your appetite.
  • A cancer patient may find it hard picking the right food.
  • Dieticians will advise a patient on what to eat.
  • Food supplement interferes with cancer treatment.
  • Surgery can make eating difficult.

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