During your treatment, it will sometimes seem difficult to maintain a perfect nutritional(food) balance. Yet even if it does not cure cancer, diet is real support for therapy. What are the foods to favor? Are there foods to be banned?
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Do not Neglect a Balanced Diet
Contributing to the general well-being of the patient, food also makes it possible to strengthen his immune defenses, sometimes damaged by treatments. Thus, the doctor must take care, as much as possible, of your food. Think of :
- Eat at least three meals daily;
- Have a varied and balanced diet;
- Don’t eat on the go but take your time;
- Limit foods that are too fatty or too sweet;
- Drink enough during the day.
We know in particular that certain food aversions can lead to weight loss. These phenomena are the cause of significant fatigue, which can undermine the quality of life when they are not themselves the cause of a lack of interest in food. Do not fall into this vicious circle.
Choose Protein-Rich Foods
During your treatment, your appetite will most certainly be disturbed. To better assess the consequences, periodically monitor your weight. If there is a large variation, talk to your doctor. In the event of weight loss, the National League Against Cancer recommends:
- Favor enriched dishes;
- Split food intakes;
- Increase calorie intake by consuming more butter, cream, mayonnaise, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, jam, honey.
- Choose foods rich in protein (eggs, dairy products, meat and fish, cereals), which provide strength and energy while helping you keep your weight.
This last recommendation is particularly linked to the fact that fatigue is often linked to weight loss in terms of muscle mass. By favoring proteins, you allow your muscles to rebuild and thus regain physical activity, which will undoubtedly facilitate better social reintegration. Also, avoid skipping meals and, if so, consider compensating. If this phenomenon tends to repeat itself for lack of appetite, speak to your doctor. He may offer you nutritional supplements, some of which are reimbursed by Social Security.
If, on the contrary, you have gained weight (mainly the following chemotherapy), do not start a diet on your own. Again, medical advice is essential: this is not the time to weaken your body.
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Surgery, Radiotherapy, and Chemotherapy
After Surgical Treatment
only certain operations require a special diet because of their location. Thus, in case of intervention in the mouth of the pharynx or esophagus, the absorption of solid food is difficult for several weeks. You will most certainly need to favor a liquid diet, purees, compotes, and minced meat before gradually returning to a normal diet. For anatomical reasons, an ablation or reduction of the stomach will have consequences.
In this pocket, normally stays the food bowl before undergoing various transformations. To avoid creating “digestive congestion,” be sure to favor small fractional meals while avoiding foods that can cause flatulence. Finally, a colostomy – a surgical procedure consisting of creating an artificial opening between the colon and the abdomen (artificial anus) – the diet must take care not to disturb your intestinal transit. Diarrhea or constipation are enemies to avoid!
After Chemotherapy(or Radiotherapy of the Upper Digestive Tract)
swallowing is made difficult. It is therefore asked to favor so-called neutral foods (minced meat, compote, dairy products, pasta, water, or even small pots) and to avoid foods that may further darken the picture, such as excessively acidic foods (lemon, grape fruit). too dry (bread, chicken.), too crunchy (crisps, rice.) drinks that are too hot, too cold or too spicy, as well as alcoholic drinks.
After Radiation Therapy
It is common for patients to experience some dry mouth. To counter this, be sure to drink lots of water, rinse your mouth frequently with a bicarbonate solution prescribed by your doctor. To prevent this dryness from being accompanied by canker sores or irritation, adopt impeccable oral hygiene.
Special case: if your treatment requires corticosteroid therapy (treatment based on cortisone or its derivatives), your diet will be base on a salt-free diet.
Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea, and Constipation
Chemotherapy and some radiation therapies can cause nausea or vomiting. Because these reactions are often the result of hypersensitivity to certain odors, it is best to compose your menus based on dishes that do not have strong odors or too many spices. Little tip: lukewarm or cold meals often cause fewer nausea reactions. Think about it. If you cannot keep what you eat, your doctor will suggest suitable anti-nausea treatments.
Treatment can disrupt your body’s digestive and absorption functions. This has the unfortunate consequence of causing diarrhea or constipation more frequently. To avoid dehydration linked to the first, remember to hydrate yourself regularly. In the case of constipation, good hydration is also an essential pillar. To facilitate your transit, you can (unless contraindicated) opt for foods rich in fiber, green vegetables, or the famous prunes!
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