Our 24/7 cancer helpline provides information and answers for people dealing with cancer. We can connect you with trained cancer information specialists who will answer questions about a cancer diagnosis and provide guidance and a compassionate ear.
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Our highly trained specialists are available 24/7 via phone and on weekdays can assist through video calls and online chat. We connect patients, caregivers, and family members with essential services and resources at every step of their cancer journey. Ask us how you can get involved and support the fight against cancer. Some of the topics we can assist with include:
Referrals to patient-related programs or resources
Donations, website, or event-related assistance
For medical questions, we encourage you to review our information with your doctor.
Drinking and Eating Changes
People with cancer might have problems eating food and drinking fluids. Common problems include changes in appetite or weight, or other side effects that make it hard to eat or drink.
A person with a poor appetite or no appetite may eat much less than normal or may not eat at all. A poor appetite can be caused by a changed sense of taste or smell, feeling full, tumor growth, dehydration, or the side effects of treatment.
A person may gag, cough, spit, feel pain, or have other problems when trying to swallow. There can be a number of causes. It may be a short-term side effect of chemo or radiation treatment to the throat or chest. It may also be caused by an infection of the mouth or esophagus, as well as other problems.
Cancer and its treatments can change your senses of taste and smell. These changes can affect your appetite and are often described as a bitter or metallic taste. Food can also taste too salty or sweet.