Nutrition for the Person With Cancer During Treatment
Nutrition is an important part of cancer treatment. Eating the right kinds of foods before, during, and after treatment can help you feel better and stay stronger. Chances are, if you are reading this booklet either you or someone you care about is going through cancer treatment. The American Cancer Society has prepared this guide to help you and your loved ones cope with treatment side effects that might affect how well you can eat.
Not everyone has nutrition-related side effects, but this guide will help you address them if and when they come up. You don’t have to read straight through all of the information here. You can just read the sections you need and use the information that applies to you.
The information in this guide is not meant to replace the advice of a medical professional. If you have any questions or concerns, you should talk to a doctor, nurse, or dietitian about your nutritional needs. A registered dietitian (RD) can be one of your best sources of information about your diet. If you are going to meet with a dietitian, be sure to write down your questions before your meeting so you won’t forget anything. And be sure to ask the dietitian to repeat or explain anything that’s not clear. If you have questions about something in this guide, a dietitian can give you a more detailed explanation.
You can find more detailed discussion of nutrition before, during, and after cancer treatment in our book called American Cancer Society Complete Guide to Nutrition for Cancer Survivors: Eating Well, Staying Well During and After Cancer.
For more information or to find a registered dietitian, contact the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
- Benefits of good nutrition during cancer treatment
- Cancer and cancer treatment affect nutrition
- Before treatment begins
- Once treatment starts
- Managing eating problems caused by surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy
- For people with weakened immune systems
- How to cope with common eating problems
- Appetite changes
- Mouth dryness or thick saliva
- Mouth or throat pain or sores
- Swallowing problems
- Taste and smell changes
- Weight gain
- Nutrition after treatment ends
- To learn more
- Recipes to try during cancer treatment