Good Nutrition for Cancer Patients
Eating well is always important, but it is especially important if a patient is undergoing cancer treatment. Good nutrition helps to maintain strength, energy and the immune system.
There are many challenges and side effects when going through treatment. Weight loss is a common one. To avoid losing too much weight, patients should try to eat a wide variety of high-calorie foods. Good options are those that include milk, cheese, cooked eggs and butter. It might sound counter-productive, but those foods will help a patient from feeling weak or becoming too underweight.
High-protein foods are helpful in repairing and rebuilding tissues that may have been harmed during cancer treatment. Examples of high-protein foods include meats, peanut butter and beans.
Certain foods can also help with different side effects a patient may experience from treatment. If a patient is feeling nauseous or vomiting, snacks like crackers, pretzels or skinned roasted chicken may work to alleviate that feeling.
Unfortunately, a patient may reach the point when treatment for their cancer is no longer working and it appears that the end of their journey is near. When a patient is at this stage, they tend to not eat or drink as much. As the body begins to deteriorate, it begins to preserve and protect energy and there is no longer a regular need for extra food or drink. As much as this is hard for a loved one to watch, it is usually not a good idea to force a patient to eat or drink.
Please note that these tips provide general guidelines. Patients and caregivers should always consult their doctors about nutrition while undergoing cancer treatment.