Cancer Diet: Foods To Add And Avoid During Cancer Treatment
Cancer can affect every aspect of your health, including your appetite and diet. Selvi Rajagopal, M.D., a specialist in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine, explains why your diet is so important during cancer treatment, and provides tips on foods to add and avoid.
Additional Eating And Drinking Tips For Radiation Therapy
- Chew your food slowly. Take your time eating each small meal.
- To make sure youre getting enough calories during radiation, ask yourself, What can I add to this meal to make it more nutrient-rich? Think about topping your dishes with dressings and sauces. Or, think about adding extra ingredients you can add in or on top of your dishes.
- Cook foods that smell good
- Drink beverages that are high in healthy calories
- Eat foods in a stress-free relaxing setting to make eating a positive experience
- Eat every few hours vs waiting until youre hungry
How To Adjust To The Dietary Needs Of The Person With Prostate Cancer
While these general recommendations ensure a healthy diet, you can play with which foods you choose and how you prepare them so that your meals are appealing and flavorful while also meeting your dietary needs.
Curb weight loss. If youre losing your appetite and losing weight, think again about what youre cooking and how youre preparing food. Experiment with seasoning foods differently so they taste better, or adding sauces and herbs to mask certain flavors. And cook with higher-calorie ingredients that dont require eating large portions to meet caloric needs.
Manage fiber intake for diarrhea relief. Loose stools, bleeding from the rectum, and loss of control over bowel movements happen to some men after getting external beam radiation treatments for prostate cancer. Several foods can help if this happens to you. Choose fiber-rich foods such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. The Prostate Cancer Foundation says its a bit of a balancing act when it comes to fiber, but recommends avoiding foods that might irritate your stomach while trying to keep up your consumption of fiber-rich foods to avoid getting constipated.
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Proteins To Heal Cells
Protein is the building material of your body, and is necessary for healing and rejuvenating your body. It is particularly important to get sufficient amounts of protein-rich foods during all the stages of your cancer treatment and recovery. A review published in “CA,” a journal for clinicians, recommends that patients in recovery get at least 10 percent of their daily calories from proteins. The best sources of protein include low-fat meat, poultry, fish, eggs, low-fat milk and dairy products, legumes and nuts.
How Can Your Diet Help Manage Cancer Treatment Side Effects
Some dietary changes can help you manage side effects after your treatment begins. These side effects include:
- Appetite loss. Eat small meals or nutritious snacks throughout the day, rather than three large meals.
- Constipation. Drink plenty of water, consider a fiber supplement, and add veggies and beans to your meals.
- Diarrhea. Choose foods or drinks with sodium and potassium .
- Loss of taste. Knowing what to eat when you cant taste can be difficult. Consider trying new foods with different spices or marinades. You can also add strong flavors, such as lemon or lime juice.
- Nausea. Anti-nausea foods include citrus, ginger and peppermint oil. You can suck on a slice of lemon, drink ginger tea or eat ginger chews.
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Frequent Urination Burning With Urination And Difficulty Urinating
These are the most common complaints. Occasionally the urinary stream will weaken. Generally these symptoms are managed with medications to help the bladder function better or eliminate burning. Rarely, your doctor may order a urine test. Symptoms will resolve after the end of treatment. Contact your doctor if you see blood in your urine or if you are unable to urinate.
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Ni Associations With Bowel Symptoms
The baseline levels of bowel symptoms were low in both groups. Most bowel symptoms worsened from baseline during the acute phase and then improved during the late phase, although not returning completely to baseline levels .3). The NI was associated with less bother from blood in stools and less bother from flatulence during the acute phase but these differences were not clinically significant. However, the NI was associated with an increase in bloated abdomen during the late phase .3). There were no associations between the NI and bowel symptoms in the per-protocol analyses .
Mean scores for bowel symptoms at baseline, 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 2 months, 7 months, 12 months, 18 months and 24 months. Variables from the QLQ-C30, QLQ-PR25 and GISEQ assessing bowel symptoms among patients with prostate cancer undergoing radiotherapy, who received the nutrition intervention and those who received standard care . Abbreviations: Bloating, bloated abdomen Bowel symptoms, aggregated scale bowel symptoms Limitations, limitations of daily activities due to bowel symptoms Leakage, unintentional leakage of stools. Note: Scores ranges from 0 to 100 in EORTC QLQ-C30 and QLQ-PR25, and from 0 to 10 in GISEQ
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Include Calcium And Vitamin D In Your Diet
You need calcium in your diet every day to keep your bones and teeth strong and your muscles and nerves healthy. When youre not getting enough calcium from your diet, your body takes calcium from your bones. This can make your bones weak and brittle and cause a disease called osteoporosis. Osteoporosis puts you at greater risk for bone fractures.
Here are tips for getting more calcium in your diet:
- Have at least 2 to 3 servings of skim or low-fat dairy every day. Include milk, yogurt, or cheese. If you have trouble eating lactose , try lactose-free products, such as Lactaid® milk or soy products.
- Almonds, leafy greens, soybeans, canned sardines, and salmon are also good sources of calcium.
- Foods such as cereals and orange juice usually have added calcium.
- Many people, including women during menopause, need calcium supplements. Speak with your doctor or a dietitian to find out more about your calcium needs.
Your body needs vitamin D so it can absorb the calcium in your diet. Vitamin D is found in dairy products and some fatty fishes. Your body can also make vitamin D from sunlight. Most people get all the vitamin D they need from sunlight. But, if you dont spend much time outside or if you usually keep your skin covered , you may need to take a vitamin D supplement.
Daily recommended intake
The table below lists the daily amount of calcium and vitamin D you need per day based on your age.
Whats A Prostate Cancer Diet
The truth is, theres no specific diet that will help you prevent or treat prostate cancer, according to sources such as the University of California at San Francisco . That said, good nutrition may be associated with a lower risk of developing cancer, along with reduced risk of the disease progressing after a diagnosis.
However, the research is still out on whether your diet can really impact prostate cancer risk and prognosis. Steven Canfield, MD, the chief of urology for McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston , and the Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, says that while there have been a lot of studies looking at specific diets for prostate cancer, they havent been very revealing. Unfortunately, he says, none of them have really panned out to show any significant prevention.
But he adds an exception: It does seem to be that whats good for your heart is good for your prostate.
The UCSF cancer center developed diet guidelines for prostate cancer that recommend plentiful intake of a wide variety of vegetables and whole grains, healthy , and healthy fats .
If these diet recommendations sound a lot like the Mediterranean Diet, your instincts are right: Theres evidence that this food plan helps lower risk of death from prostate cancer.
Skip grilling. Cooking meat at high temperatures like grilling produces a carcinogen called PhIP. If you do prepare meats on the grill, turn the meat often to minimize the char buildup .
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Sore Throat And Trouble Swallowing
The following may help cancer patients who have a sore throat or trouble swallowing:
- Eat soft foods that are easy to chew and swallow, such as milkshakes, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, or other cooked cereals.
- Eat foods and drinks that are high in protein and calories.
- Moisten food with gravy, sauces, broth, or yogurt.
- Stay away from the following foods and drinks that can burn or scratch your throat:
- Hot foods and drinks.
- Foods and juices that are high in acid.
- Sharp or crunchy foods.
Some Cancer Patients Try Special Diets To Improve Their Prognosis
Cancer patients may try special diets to make their treatment work better, preventside effects from treatment, or to treat the cancer itself. However, for most of these special diets, there is no evidence that shows they work.
Vegetarian or vegan diet
It is not known if following a vegetarian or vegan diet can help side effects from cancer treatment or the patient’s prognosis. If the patient already follows a vegetarian or vegan diet, there is no evidence that shows they should switch to a different diet.
A macrobiotic diet is a high-carbohydrate, low-fat, plant-based diet. No studies have shown that this diet will help cancer patients.
A ketogenic diet limits carbohydrates and increases fat intake. The purpose of the diet is to decrease the amount of glucose the tumorcells can use to grow and reproduce. It is a hard diet to follow because exact amounts of fats, carbohydrates and proteins are needed. However, the diet is safe.
Several clinical trials are recruiting glioblastoma patients to study whether a ketogenic diet affects glioblastoma tumor activity. Patients with glioblastoma who want to start a ketogenic diet should talk to their doctor and work with a registered dietitian. However, it is not yet known how the diet will affect the tumor or its symptoms.
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Foods To Eat During Chemotherapy If Your Appetite Is Increased
Some of the drugs given alongside chemotherapy, such as steroids, can increase your appetite. If youre worried about gaining weight:
- Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables
- Choose low-fat foods and drinks
- Watch out for the sugar content of food including some diet foods
- Avoid sugary drinks
*recipe For Black Bean And Corn Soup
- 28-ounce can of low-sodium crushed tomato and basil
- 8 ounces of low-sodium tomato juice
- 16-ounce can of rinsed black beans
- 16-ounce can of rinsed white beans
- 16-ounce can of rinsed kidney beans
- 16-ounce can of sweet corn
- 1 teaspoon of dry oregano
- ½ teaspoon of rosemary
- ½ teaspoon cracked red pepper flakes
Mix ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. Serves 4.
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Another type of prostate issue is chronic prostatitis, or chronic pelvic pain syndrome. This condition causes pain in the lower back and groin area, and may cause urinary retention. Symptoms include leaking and discomfort. In severe cases, a catheter may be required to relieve the symptoms. If the problem is unresponsive to other treatments, your doctor may suggest a surgical procedure. If these do not work, your symptoms could progress and become chronic.
An acute bacterial infection can cause a burning sensation. Inflammation of the prostate can affect the bladder and result in discomfort and other symptoms. This is the most common urinary tract problem in men under 50, and the third most common in men over 65. The symptoms of acute bacterial prostatitis are similar to those of CPPS. Patients may experience a fever or chills as a result of the infection.
Power Analysis And Randomisation
A 5-point change in the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer quality-of-life questionnaire scales is considered clinically significant . Given a mean difference of five in bowel symptoms between groups, and using a standard deviation of 9.4 from previous research , the effect size was calculated to 0.53. To reach a power of 80%, with our estimated effect size and a 0.05 significance level, 57 patients in each group were required. Expecting an attrition rate of approximately 30% due to the extensive follow-up period, we decided to include 90 patients in each group. Patients were stratified by radiation technique and site, and randomly assigned to a nutrition intervention group or a standard care group . Randomisation was performed by two persons unrelated to the trial, using the Efrons biased coin design .
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Eating Well During Treatment
Try to eat well. A healthy diet helps your body function at its best. This is even more important if you have cancer. Youll go into treatment with reserves to help keep up your strength, your energy level, and your defenses against infection. A healthy diet can also prevent body tissue from breaking down and build new tissues. People who eat well are better able to cope with side effects of treatment. And you may even be able to handle higher doses of certain drugs. In fact, some cancer treatments work better in people who are well-nourished and are getting enough calories and protein. Try these tips:
- Dont be afraid to try new foods. Some things you never have liked before might taste good during treatment.
- Choose different plant-based foods. Try eating beans and peas instead of meat at a few meals each week.
- Try to eat more fruits and vegetables every day in a variety of colors. Colorful vegetables and fruits and plant-based foods have many natural health-promoting substances.
- Try to stay at a healthy weight, and stay physically active. Small weight changes during treatment are normal.
- Limit or avoid red or processed meats, sugar sweetened beverages and processed foods.
If you cant do any of the above during this time, dont worry about it. Tell your cancer care team about any problems you have and ask if there is a dietician or nutritionist you could speak to. Sometimes diet changes are needed to get the extra fluids, protein, and calories you need.
Anorexia And Cachexia Are Common Causes Of Malnutrition In Cancer Patients
Anorexia is the loss of appetite or desire to eat. It is a common symptom in patients with cancer. Anorexia may occur early in the disease or later, if the cancer grows or spreads. Some patients already have anorexia when they are diagnosed with cancer. Most patients who have advanced cancer will have anorexia. Anorexia is the most common cause of malnutrition in cancer patients.
Cachexia is a condition marked by weakness, weight loss, and fat and muscle loss. It is common in patients with tumors that affect eating and digestion. It can occur in cancer patients who are eating well, but are not storing fat and muscle because of tumor growth.
Some tumors change the way the body uses certain nutrients. The body’s use of protein, carbohydrates, and fat may change when tumors are in the stomach, intestines, or head and neck. A patient may seem to be eating enough, but the body may not be able to absorb all the nutrients from the food.
Cancer patients may have anorexia and cachexia at the same time.
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Prevalence Of Bowel Symptoms
Diarrhoea was the most prevalent symptom during the acute phase, 76% in the NIG and 69% in the SCG reported at least quite a bit of diarrhoea .4). Other symptoms rated quite a bit during the acute phase were limitations to daily activities due to bowel symptoms and bloated abdomen. Bloated abdomen was also the most common symptom during the late phase. Blood in stools was less prevalent in the NIG compared with the SCG during the acute and the late phase. There were no differences between the groups regarding the self-reported data on other bowel symptoms, or use of medication due to bowel symptoms during or after RT .
Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy
This technique uses advanced image guided techniques to deliver large doses of radiation to a precise area, such as the prostate. Because there are large doses of radiation in each dose, the entire course of treatment is given over just a few days.
SBRT is often known by the names of the machines that deliver the radiation, such as Gamma Knife, X-Knife, CyberKnife, and Clinac.
The main advantage of SBRT over IMRT is that the treatment takes less time . The side effects, though, are not better. In fact, some research has shown that some side effects might actually be worse with SBRT than with IMRT.
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High In Fruit Vegetables Wholegrains And Pulses
- Aim for at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day, they can be fresh, tinned, frozen or dried.
- Try to have a range of different colours of fruit and vegetables to give you a variety of vitamins and minerals.
- Aim to eat starchy foods every day, such as potatoes, bread, rice and pasta.
- Choose wholegrain versions of cereals, bread and pasta where possible.
- Dont forget pulses such as beans, lentils and peas, they are a low fat alternative to meat and a good source of protein.