Cancer Support Group

Monday, Nov 20th

Last update:06:42:40 AM GMT

Home Cancer Chemotherapy Diet During Chemotherapy

Diet During Chemotherapy

It is very important to eat as well as you can, while you are undergoing chemotherapy treatment. People who eat well can cope with side effects better and are able to fight infection more easily. In addition, their bodies can rebuild healthy tissues faster.

Eating well during chemotherapy means choosing a balanced diet that contains all the nutrients the body needs. A good way to do this is to eat foods from each of the following food groups: fruits and vegetables, poultry, fish, and meat, cereals and breads, and dairy products. Eating well also means having a diet high enough in calories to keep your weight up and, most important, high enough in protein to build and repair skin, hair, muscles, and organs.
You also may need to drink extra amounts of fluid to protect your bladder and kidneys during your treatment.

What if I don’t like eating?
Even when you know it’s important to eat well, there may be days when you feel you just can’t. This may happen because side effects such as nausea or mouth and throat problems make it difficult or painful to eat. You also can lose your appetite if you feel depressed or tired. If this is the case, be sure to read the sections on your particular discomforts. They will give you tips that can make it easier for you to eat.

When a poor appetite is the problem, try these hints:
  • Eat small meals or snacks whenever you want. You don’t have to eat three regular meals each day.
  • Vary your diet and try new foods and recipes.
  • When possible, take a walk before meals, this may make you feel hungrier.
  • Try changing your mealtime routine. For example, eat by candlelight or in a different location.
  • Eat with friends or family members. When eating alone, listen to the radio etc.
Can I drink alcoholic beverages?
Small amounts of alcohol can help you relax and increase your appetite. On the other hand, alcohol may interact with some drugs to reduce their effectiveness or worsen their side effects. For this reason, some people must drink less alcohol or avoid alcohol completely during chemotherapy. Be sure to ask your doctor if it’s okay for you to drink beer, wine, or other alcoholic beverages.

Should I take vitamin or mineral supplements?
There is no single answer to this question, but one thing is clear: No diet or nutritional plan can “Cure” cancer, and taking vitamin and mineral supplements should never be considered a substitute for medical care. You should not take any supplements without your doctor’s knowledge and consent.

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