Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dietary Management of some Cancer and Cancer Treatment Related Issues


-Increase the intake of foods high in B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, protein and iron.  Long term supplemention of Iron is discouraged.   Small meals every few hours is advised.

Aversion to foods/Anorexia/Cachexia/Colder Food Preference

-Appetite stimulants and small feedings throughout the day are recommended.  If patient finds food to have a metallic taste, using plastic utensils, ginger ale and/or mint may help to mask that.  Try different seasonings.   If patient is found to have an aversion towards meat, encourage consumption of poultry, fish, legumes and dairy products.   Cleansing the palate with baking soda and water or salty water before meals may help.  Nutritional supplements to help increase nutrient intake can also be used.   Some patients may better tolerate colder food items. 

Dental cavities

-Being extra diligent about  good oral hygiene, avoidance of sweets, and the use of sodium fluoride three times a day is recommended to help prevent  cavities in cancer patients.


-Increasing fluid and fiber intake as well as getting extra fiber into the diet can help.   Hot drinks and milk (if tolerated) are said to be helpful as well.


-Patient should be encouraged to limit consumption of the following items:  sorbitol, sugar substitutes,  caffeine,  carbonated drinks,  and foods which are fatty, acidic, gas forming or spicy.  The patient should be monitored for development of  lactose intolerance due to the illness or associated therapies.  If patient is lactose intolerant, dairy products should be avoided.  Foods which may be helpful  for those suffering from diarrhea include  potato’s, skinless chicken, rice, and eggs.


-Bland foods are recommended for patients  experiencing nausea.  Also small meals throughout the day and drinking fluids between meals can be helpful.  Extra hydration is also advised prior to and following chemotherapy treatments.  If patient is vomiting, following the episode patient should sip liquids every 10 to 15 minutes.  Additionally, “flat” carbonated drinks can provide some relief. 

Escott-Stump, S. Nutrition and Diagnoses-Related Care.  7th ed.  Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins:2012.

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