This post was written by guest author Jillian McKee, who has worked as the Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance since June of 2009. Jillian spends most her time on outreach efforts and spreading information about the integration of complementary and alternative medicine when used in conjunction with traditional cancer treatment.
For any cancer patient, maintaining proper nutrition provides innumerable benefits. Whether you are currently receiving cancer treatment, recently diagnosed or are going through remission, a proper diet will help to sustain weight, avoid malnutrition, and maintain stamina as well act as a possible deterrent towards infection.
Maintaining Fluid Intake and Proper Weight
Cancer patients dealing with all forms of cancer including mesothelioma run the risk of encountering treatment side effects. These side effects may include diarrhea and vomiting. Consuming sufficient vitamins and minerals may help to combat anorexia, a common result of repeated diarrhea and vomiting. In addition, supplementing your system with the proper amounts of fluids and electrolytes helps to replace critical levels that diarrhea and vomiting reduce.
Weight and Nutrition
Treatment patients, including those in remission, should attempt a well-balanced diet of foods high in carbohydrates, fat and proteins. Consuming smaller amounts more frequently throughout the day may help in providing the necessary nutritional levels. Some helpful examples of high protein foods are eggs and cottage cheese. There are also a large variety of high-protein pre-made nutritional vitamin shakes on the market today.
Soy-based products, such as rice and coconut are a positive alternative for introducing a high protein diet to lactose-intolerant patients. There are a variety of lactose-free pre-made shakes available as well.
Muscle mass is significantly affected by cancer treatments as well as cancer growth. Maintaining a balanced, high protein diet is crucial to building much needed strength required for any surgeries or treatment procedures. This also assists in preventing the risk of infection brought on by anorexia side effects.
Foods to Avoid
Individuals going through remission, diagnosis and treatments of cancer should attempt to avoid any pre-made foods where contagion has the possibility of compromise. Avoiding public prepared and fast food establishments are necessary in removing the possibility of negatively affecting the already reduced immune system. In addition, patients should avoid fried food as well due.
Cancer patients should avoid the consumption of meat as its high level of iron promotes higher absorption rates. Cancer cells have been suspected of using the iron that our bodies store to promote their growth. As a result, iron supplements are strongly discouraged as well. Although fat intake is necessary during cancer diagnosis and treatment, animal fat may be detrimental to your diet. Animal fats are found in meats and may include harmful bacteria enzymes while also promoting bile acids of the stomach. This may affect an individual’s digestion system.
Although it is not a cure for cancer, implementing a healthy diet may promote the required weight maintenance so important to the body. In addition, a well-balanced diet assists the proper fluid levels that are lost during remission, diagnosis and treatment. Your doctor may provide an easy to follow, well-structured nutritional diet plan conducive to your specific nutritional requirements.