Many people who are diagnosed with cancer often develop nutritional deficiencies. This lack of nutrition is often the result of cancer treatments. Chemotherapy, for instance, is known to cause a lack of appetite. Since cancer directly affects the body’s metabolism, the loss of appetite is mainly due to physical changes. In order to have the best chance of recovery, patients must adopt healthy eating habits. Keep in mind that these healthy habits vary from the usual dietary guidelines.
A healthy diet helps patients maintain their body weight and strength. Along with that, it also fights infections by keeping the body tissue healthy. Proper nutrition is especially important for those who are undergoing mesothelioma cancer treatment. The good nutrition enables patients to better deal with the negative side-effects of treatment. As research shows, most cancer treatments work better when a patient is eating properly. Patients who are well nourished tend to have a better quality of life. In addition, they usually have a better chance of recovery.
When creating a cancer treatment diet, doctors and nutritionists have specific goals in mind. For instance, the diet is supposed to help patients maintain an optimal level of nutrition. Since cancer treatments cause negative symptoms, the goal of a healthy diet is to reduce these negative side-effects. In addition, another goal is to help the patient maintain a healthy body weight. If patients lose too much weight, the goal is to help them pack on some pounds.
Once a patient’s cancer is cured, good nutrition is still important. Even when patients are in remission, it is vital for them to maintain healthy eating habits. Although it is not a guarantee, maintaining a healthy diet is one way to prevent the cancer from coming back. Avoid eating fast food or buying processed items from the grocery store. Make sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Instead of drinking soda, consume more water and milk. People should skip the junk food and choose something that is better for their bodies. It is not uncommon for a registered dietitian to work with the patient well after his or her treatments are over.
People should make a conscious effort to eat healthy. People are faced with a number of temptations on a daily basis. Every time they watch TV or drive past a billboard, people are tempted by products they see. Fast food restaurants are located on nearly every street. The environment encourages poor food choices; however, that doesn’t mean that people can’t fight the temptation. Proper nutrition is an essential component of good health. For that reason, people must stick with the plan that was created by their doctors or nutritionists.
A nutritious diet can increase a patient’s chances of survival. Consuming the right amount of protein, fruits and vegetables is a great way to fight the disease. If treatments are causing the patient to have a lack of appetite, there are certain steps that the doctor can take. For instance, the doctor can give the patient medicine to combat the loss of appetite.
Guest Post by Jillian McKee
Bringing a wealth of personal and professional experience to the organization, Jillian McKee has worked as the Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance since June of 2009. Jillian spends most her time on outreach efforts and spreading information about the integration of complementary and alternative medicine when used in conjunction with traditional cancer treatment.