What Are Some Nutrition Recommendations for Cancer Patients?


Quick Answer

Nutritional suggestions for cancer patients include increasing protein, ensuring adequate caloric intake and consuming a lot of water, according to the American Cancer Society. Cancer patients should receive good nutrition while undergoing treatment because it helps them feel better, tolerate side effects, recover faster and lowers the risk for infection.

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It is suggested that cancer patients increase the amount of protein in their diets because it is essential for tissue growth and repair and immune system function, explains the American Cancer Society. Patients who do not get enough protein in their diets have a higher risk of infection and take longer to recover from chemotherapy, radiation or other cancer treatments.

Because of the side effects of cancer treatments, it is sometimes difficult for cancer patients to get adequate calories in their diet and maintain a healthy weight, reports the American Cancer Society. These side effects include loss of appetite, sore mouth and throat, nausea, vomiting, and changes in taste or smell. As a result, cancer patients may require high-calorie and high-fat foods to prevent weight loss or cool nutritional shakes due to mouth or throat soreness. For cancer patients who are experiencing a lot of vomiting or diarrhea, it is also important to ensure adequate intake of fluids because these side effects can lead to dehydration.

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