Patients who have cancer have to undergo more than one treatment on their doctors’ recommendations. These could include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, cryoablation, bone marrow transplant, immunotherapy, surgery, or targeted drug therapy. Each of them is effective in destroying the cancer cells present in their bodies. However, they cause numerous side-effects, including loss of appetite, nausea, pains in the body, and more. Cancer patients need to focus on their nutrition. They have to eat healthy food just before, during, and immediately after their treatments. This will help them to feel better and boost their immune system. Only then can they expect to stay physically strong to fight the effects of cancer on their bodies with medicines.
Dr. Paolo Boffetta – Nutrition tips for patients who have cancer?
Dr. Paolo Boffetta is a leading epidemiologist from Italy with over 30 years of experience in cancer research. He has made significant contributions through his research papers into the understanding of this chronic disease. He has had the privilege of working in the top cancer research institutions around the world. These include the American Cancer Society, the German Cancer Research Center, Columbia University, and America Health Foundation. He is a member of the editorial board of several prominent scientific journals. These are Cancer Discovery, Disease Markers, Annals of Oncology, Cancer Medicine, and European Journal of Clinical Investigation. Currently, he holds the post of Director at the Institute for Translational Epidemiology.
He says cancer patients generally experience six common side-effects as a result of their treatments. These include appetite loss, an unpleasant taste, dry mouth, mouth sores, weight loss, and nausea. This affects their desire to have all kinds of food and drinks. He suggests they keep in mind the following nutrition tips for maintaining their strength and weight:
- Consume six small meals regularly throughout the day,
- Keep healthy snacks in hand to deal with hunger pangs,
- Do not drink too many fluids just before or immediately after meals,
- Drink liquids which have a high-calorie content and essential nutrients like protein shakes,
- Eat healthy food items with plenty of fat, carbohydrates, and proteins,
- Have sugar-free candies, tart foods, and ice chips to take care of dry mouth,
- Sip water in small amounts frequently throughout the day,
- Avoid all kinds of alcoholic drinks and mouthwashes, and
- Drink juices like ginger ale or broth when experiencing nausea.
Benefits of good nutrition for cancer patients
He further points out the following advantages of proper nutrition for a patient who has cancer:
- Helps to make them feel better,
- Minimizes their chances of suffering from other infections,
- Boosts the healing process,
- Enhances their strength and boosts their energy levels,
- It helps them to maintain healthy body weight.
As put by Paolo Boffetta MD cancer patients need to have the proper nutrition to get the strength to fight cancer. They should have six high-calorie small meals and sip water frequently throughout the day. They should even keep healthy snacks with them to take care of hunger pangs. Almost all of them must avoid all forms of alcohol and aerated drinks. The right diet and nutrition are mandatory to fight cancer and have an active life.