Good nutrition supports cancer treatment

Good nutrition supports cancer treatment

Good nutrition has physical, mental and emotional benefits. The food you consume can give you the energy needed to treat cancer with as few side effects as possible while helping you maintain a sense of well-being and good control during cancer treatment.

Benefits of nutrition in cancer treatment

Nutrition plays an important role in supporting the patient both before and after treatment. There have been many cases of patients using improper diets leading to exhaustion, malnutrition, infectious diseases and inadequate health to meet treatment, to give up halfway.

The nutritional needs of people with cancer vary from person to person. Your cancer care team can help you set nutritional goals and plan ways to help you meet them.

Eating well while you are being treated for cancer can help you:

  • Feeling better.
  • Stay healthy and energetic
  • Maintain body weight.
  • Better tolerates the side effects associated with treatment.
  • Reduce the risk of infection.
  • Heals and heals faster.

Eat a variety of good foods to get the nutrients your body needs to fight cancer. These nutrients include protein, carbohydrates, fats, water, vitamins and minerals.

Good nutrition supports cancer treatment (2)
Good nutrition supports cancer treatment (2)

Cancer and cancer treatment affect nutrition

When you are healthy, eating enough food to get the nutrients and calories you need is usually not a problem. Most nutrition guidelines emphasize eating a lot of vegetables, fruits and cereal products. Limit the amount of red meat, especially those that are processed or high in fat. Cutting back on fat, sugar, alcohol and salt keeps the body at a healthy weight.

Your food choices when you have cancer and treatment may be very different from what you are used to eating. The main goal is to try to keep your weight constant.

During cancer treatment, the cancer cells are destroyed, but they also affect and damage healthy cells and cause side effects. Some common side effects during treatment that may affect eating are:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Sore mouth or throat
  • Dry mouth
  • Dental and gum problems
  • Change in taste or smell
  • Nausea
  • Vomit
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Feeling very tired all the time
  • Depression

Many side effects can be controlled and most disappear over time after treatment ends. Talk to your cancer care team about the risk of side effects and what can be done to help control them.

During cancer treatment you may need to change your diet to help strengthen and withstand the effects of cancer and its treatments.

Food needed during cancer treatment


  • Tomatoes, carrots, peas, pumpkins and beets give vitamins and fiber.
  • Pureed tomatoes and parsley: especially good for prostate cancer patients.
  • Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage contain plant chemicals that can convert bad estrogen into good estrogen and thus reduce the risk of cancer as well as the risk of recurrence.
  • Asparagus and Brussels sprouts are rich in antioxidants.
  • Bitter melon to reduce blood sugar.
  • Leafy greens provide calcium and iron.


  • Oranges provide vitamin C
  • Bananas, kiwi, peaches, mangoes, pears and strawberries are fortified with vitamins and fiber.
  • Avocado, guava, apricot, figs, prunes and raisins provide energy to cancer patients.


  • Lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, tofu and taukwa.
  • Dairy products, nuts, dried beans, dhals and chickpeas.
  • Fish and soy foods: especially good for prostate cancer patients.


  • Rice, noodles, chapatti, bread and pasta.
  • Crackers, oats, corn, potatoes, beans and dairy products.
  • Honey is consumed in moderation because of its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that can help prevent infection.
Good nutrition supports cancer treatment (3)
Good nutrition supports cancer treatment (3)

Foods to avoid for cancer patients

  • Crispy, grilled meat from high-heat animal proteins produces carcinogenic byproducts called heterocyclic amines.
  • Eat too much salt and oily foods.
  • Red meat and processed meats such as bacon, ham, sausages.
  • Preserved foods like pickles, jams, kiam chye (mustard salt) and century eggs because they contain carcinogenic nitrites.
  • Minimize alcohol.

In addition, cancer patients should avoid excessive vitamin supplements because they act as antioxidants and may interfere with chemotherapy when taken in large doses.

Food safety for cancer treatment

It is important to handle food safely during cancer treatment. Cancer and cancer treatment can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to infections. This includes infections from food, the following tips are helpful ways to keep your food safe.

  • Wash your hands before eating and while handling food.
  • Keep the surfaces in contact with food clean.
  • Keep hot and hot foods (above 140 ° F) and cold and cold foods (below 40 ° F).
  • Avoid contaminating raw meat and vegetables. Store raw meat on the lowest shelf to avoid juice from contaminating other foods.
  • Wash raw fruits and vegetables well before eating.
  • Eat foods that are completely cooked
  • Do not eat or drink unpasteurized foods
  • Do not thaw frozen meat on the counter or under hot tap water.
  • Refrigerate food promptly after eating.
Good nutrition supports cancer treatment (1)
Good nutrition supports cancer treatment (1)

Your health care team can give you more specific guidance on food safety.


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