A Guide to Chemotherapy

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Other chemo side effects and tips to manage them

Appetite changes

There may be days when you just can’t eat because of things like nausea, taste changes, or mouth and throat problems. You also can lose your appetite if you feel depressed or tired.

When you have a poor appetite, try these tips:

  • Eat small meals or snacks whenever you want. You don’t have to eat 3 regular meals each day.
  • Vary your diet, and try new foods and recipes.
  • Take a walk before meals whenever you can. This may help you feel hungrier.
  • Change your mealtime routine. For example, eat by candlelight or in a different place.
  • Eat with friends or family members. When eating alone, listen to the radio or watch TV.
  • If you live alone, you might want to arrange for Meals on Wheels or a program like this to bring food to you. Ask your doctor, nurse, or local American Cancer Society office about services in your area.

For more information, please see our booklet called Nutrition for the Person With Cancer During Treatment: A Guide for Patients and Families or Nutrition for Children With Cancer.


Last Medical Review: 08/11/2014
Last Revised: 08/24/2014