Cancer is only going to be a chapter in your life, not the whole story.
Embrace yourself well for a fight, a fight that you can win.
Are you someone diagnosed with cancer or know someone diagnosed with cancer?
A lot of questions surfaced your mind when you first heard about your or your loved one’s diagnosis. You will be getting some answers to your questions through this blog.
This blog will discuss the importance of nutrition, some myth and facts about cancer and nutrition, food safety and recommendations for a healthier life.
Cancer is not caused by a single factor. There are several factors, combined that may cause cancer. Genetics, lifestyle and environmental exposures are all factors that may cause cancer.
Cancer has four stages :-
Your food choices and eating habits when you are undergoing treatment will be different from that you used to eat prior to cancer.
Fueling your body during or after your treatment is very important in order to keep your weight within healthy normal ranges, prevent malnutrition, prevent nutrient deficiencies, increase your energy and strength, have lower risk of infections, and better tolerate the side-effects of your treatment (chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, hormonal therapy, and surgery).
Certain foods enhance cancer and other are inhibitors of cancer.
The consumption of fruits and vegetables daily is highly encouraged due to their health benefits.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are usually the most nutritious, while canned have sometimes added sugar, syrups and canned vegetables might have added sodium to them as preservative).
Inadequate protein intake during your treatment will lower your resistance to infections and lengthen your hospital stays/treatment. Patients diagnosed with cancer will need more protein to help them heal and fight off infections. Food sources of protein are either animal based (fish, poultry, eggs, low fat dairy product, lean meat) or plant-based (dried beans, peas, lentils, nuts, seeds)
It is very important to stay hydrated especially if you are experiencing diarrhea or vomiting as side-effects. Try to drink 8 glasses of water per day.
Other examples of fluids are water, soup, milk and even ice cream (anything that turns liquid at room temperature).
Cancer survivors and current cancer patients are advised to stop or limit their alcohol consumption. There are no beneficial aspects to drinking alcohol and it can interfere with your medications and worsen your treatment’s side-effects.
Cancer treatments result in unfavorable side-effects. But here are the common side-effects and tips to help with them!
Before you start searching for Omega 3 supplements, it is important to talk with your doctor or your dietitian to check for any contraindications. For example, if you use anticoagulant medicines like warfarin, it may increase the risk of bleeding.
As a caregiver, do not force or blame the patient if he/she did not eat, try to offer them the meal again after 1-2 hours.
Thickeners make food easier to swallow, here are some examples:
Food: Meat, poultry, fish, tofu, nuts
Meat, poultry, fish should be cooked well.
Use a food thermometer.
Tofu from the fridge should be cut into 1inch cubes and boiled for 5 minutes in the water/broth before you eat it.
Always buy vacuum sealed nuts.
Food to Avoid:
Avoid raw or undercooked meat, fish.
Avoid raw nuts.
Food to Avoid:
Food: Milk and dairy Products
Food to Avoid:
Food: Bread, cereal, Pasta, Rice
Food to Avoid:
Food: Fruits and Vegetables
Food to Avoid:
Exercise has a lot of benefits, especially for a cancer patient.
The recommendation for adults is 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate intensity or 75-150 minutes per week of vigorous intensity exercise.
The recommendation for children is active to moderate vigorous intensity for 1 hour per day.
This can be challenging if you are experiencing fatigue and pain. But when you feel good and are able to exercise, go ahead and do.
Physical activity can vary from home activities to sports to leisure.
You can mow your lawn or play volleyball, tennis, basketball, dance, yoga, jogging, swimming.
Try using the stairs instead of an elevator, try to park your car a small distance from your office and walk to work.
Avoid a sedentary lifestyle; try limiting sitting down. Watch television/ play on your laptops for 1 hour per day.
Always consult your doctor and take their advice on what type of exercise is permitted and suitable for you.
There are a lot of questions that cancer patients and caregivers ask.
Here are some:
According to American Institute for Cancer Research, No, sugar does not feed cancer.
It is not suggested to consume sugar on a daily basis because it has no nutritional value, and excess intake of sugar will lead to weight gain, and an un-healthy weight does add a risk of cancer.
If you are on chemotherapy, sugar is advised to be limited due to the medications.
But the statement “sugar feeds cancer” is not true. There are no human studies proving this claim so far.
Ketogenic diet consists of high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrate food.
This diet does not reduce your risk of cancer or aid in your treatment.
Currently, there has not been a study able to explain and prove the effectiveness of ketogenic diet for cancer patients.
A diet you that you should focus on is that of the healthy guidelines explained above, carbohydrate, protein and fat intake are all important for you to have.
Do not take any supplement before taking approval from your doctor.
The best way to get your nutrients is from food, but if you believe you need supplements, consult your doctor and ask about the right dosage, the right time to take the supplement and what you should avoid.
Always consults a specialist before taking any pill.
According to American Cancer Society, there are no studies proving that consuming organic food will decrease the risk of cancer, decrease the risk of cancer worsening, or decrease the re-occurrence of cancer.
According to American Institute for Cancer Research, there are no known evidence that genetically modified food affect cancer risk.
No, this does not increase the risk of cancer.
Microwave radiation will not affect your food.
Cover your food with the lid when placed in the microwave.
According to American Cancer Society, no link has been proven that vegetarian diet reduces the risk of cancer.
A diet you should aim to follow is on rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grain, legumes with small amounts of meat and fish.
Avoid/limit processed food and processed meat, sugary food and refined grains.
The FDA approved alternative sweeteners which are “aspartame, acesulfame potassium, monk fruit extract, neotame, saccharine, stevia, sucralose and advantame” and claim that they are safe to consume.
According to national cancer institute, no evidence was found to link artificial sweeteners to cancer.
They are safe, within limited quantities.
The food choices you consume are very important to help you recover and strengthen your body to endure the treatment that is planned for you.