Quick Guide To Proper Cancer Nutrition

Guide To Proper Nutrition For Cancer Treament Side EffectsFor cancer patients undergoing treatment, nutritional problems are an inevitable consequence. Even with strict dietary procedures carried out to achieve proper cancer nutrition, some problems persist. The aggressive chemotherapeutic indications are often too strong for the digestive system to offset.

Proper nutrition during your cancer treatment can boost your immune system and help your body fight the disease. Outlined below are the symptoms that a typical cancer patient has to face, followed by nutritional recommendations to battle each problem:

Cancer nutrition: Low protein and calorie intake

As a cancer patient, you may feel that you have no appetite. The disease itself eats up all your nutritional reserves. Hence, you need to have plenty of proteins and calories to stay energized and strong and to ward off infections. Also, studies have suggested that keeping yourself nourished will increase your chances of recovering from the disease because your body is better equipped to handle all the medications given to you.

Specifically, the following are high-calorie and high-protein foods that you should include in your diet:

  • Avocado and beans
  • Seeds, nuts, and dried fruit
  • Olives and canola oil

Moreover, it is important to cut back on low-calorie drinks and opt for:

  • Smoothie Shakes
  • High-protein drink supplements
  • Fruit juices.

However, you should limit the amount of milk you drink because the medications may make you lactose intolerant, causing gas, bloating, diarrhea, and cramping.

Nausea and Vomiting

These symptoms are usually the adverse effects of chemotherapy. To decrease the sensation of nausea and to prevent it from occurring, it is wise to:

  • Drink at least ten glasses of water a day, since dehydration makes you feel nauseous.
  • Add lemon extract to warm water and drink this twice a day to get rid of vomiting sensations.
  • Try taking encapsulated ginger, ginger candy or fresh ginger to counter nausea.
  • Eat small frequent meals every few hours, whether or not you are hungry.
Mouth Sores

It is another common side effect that you may get from cancer treatments, especially when taking oral medications. To alleviate the discomfort associated with mouth sores, it is advisable to:

  • Avoid salty, spicy and acidic foods because these will aggravate your oral pain.
  • Try to eat more soft and blended food like pudding, milk, porridge, custard rice and soups.
Loss of Appetite (Anorexia) and Depression

It is normal to have an altered preference for food due to cancer treatment medications. You may also feel weak and tired most of the day. To combat these problems, you may try to:

  • Exercise lightly through swimming, yoga, cycling and brisk walking.
  • Eat with friends and family, and improve the mood of your surroundings with music, good food and plenty of light.
  • Cancer may be a very difficult illness to deal with, but by following these practical dietary tips, proper nutrition can be achieved. In the long run, even the adverse effects of chemotherapy can be countered.
Vanquish Constipation and Drive-away Diarrhea:

Constipation and diarrhea are another discomforting side effects of cancer treatment that can overcome with proper nutrition.

Patients with constipation should:

  • Drink lots of water
  • Eat high fiber food like beans, lentils, vegetables
  • Fresh fruits
  • Dried fruit

Similarly, patients with diarrhea should:

  • Eat bland foods like banana, rice, and apples
  • Drink lots of water and other liquids to stay hydrated
Modified Diets:

The proper diet plan is the ultimate reply to chemotherapy complications that worsen due to improper diet and side effects of cancer treatments. Here is a summary of what should be followed by a properly modified diet in cancer treatment:

  • Clear liquids: It may include, fruit juices, gelatin, broth, fruit ice coffee, tea, and popsicles. It is normally recommended for bowel rest with diarrhea and vomiting
  • Full Liquids: It clearly includes plenty of water, milk, ice creams, yogurt, milk shakes, cereal, creamed soups, commercial supplements, custard, pudding and commercial supplements. It is a progression from clear liquids. It is a recommended diet plan for those who have difficulty eating or their esophagus is narrow or suffering with mouth pain.
  • Soft/ Low Fibre Diet: As the name suggests it avoids raw veggies, fruits and foods with skins, seeds, and nuts, etc. It includes white potatoes and fruit juices. It is meant for all those patients with mild to severe bowel obstruction.
  • Low Lactose: Lactose is a naturally occurring milk sugar. It is indicated in patients experiencing bloating, lactose intolerance or diarrhea after eating any food containing lactose or following cancer treatment.

Cancer patients should take at least five meals of fruits and vegetables a day. It may include dark leafy greens and also berries. Eat whole grains foods that involve high fiber bread and cereals, brown rice, barley, oats, etc. And avoid refined foods like muffins, donuts, white bread or all those food high in sugar content as we know that cancer cells feed on sugar.

Limit red and processed meat. Stick to poultry, fish, and tofu. Food other than supplements are the best sources of minerals and vitamins. As there is no fine proof that they give same anti-cancer benefit as the fruits and vegetables.

Conclusion:

To maintain a proper healthy diet is a very important step towards healthy living in a cancer treatment. The guide mentioned in this article would help the cancer patients towards a livelihood. In a nutshell, stay hydrated and eat nutritious food. Avoid processed foods and supplements.

References:

  1.  Nutrition for cancer survivors
  2. Modified Diets of cancer patients undergoing treatment
  3. Nutrition for people with cancer
  4. Eating well during cancer treatment
  5. Combating the Side Effects of Cancer with Proper Nutrition

Featured Photo Source: LiveStrong.Com

Dr. Adem GunesDr. Adem Gunes has built the world’s largest database of scientifically tested natural substances with proven effects in cancer treatments. In 2009, he was appointed as the Chief Physician of ProLife Clinic in Innsbruck, Austria, and played a key role in the establishment of the research laboratory. He is also the co-founder of the first Austrian hyperthermia center. Now, Dr. Adem works closely with cancer patients from around the world (including Germany, Thailand, Dubai) to recommend them a complementary cancer clinic or to create a personalized care plan for patients to follow at home.

Bile Acids and Breast Cancer

Bile Acids and Breast CancerWhy do constipated women appear to be at higher risk for breast cancer? The results of a 1989 study out of the American Journal of Public Health suggested a slight increased risk of breast cancer for both decreased frequency of bowel movements and firm stool consistency. Women who had three or more bowel movements a day appeared to cut their risk of breast cancer in half. This could be because constipation means a greater contact time between our waste and our intestinal wall, which may increase the formation and absorption of fecal mutagens—substances that cause DNA mutations and cancer—into our circulation, eventually ending up in breast tissue.

The concept that more frequent bowl movements decrease breast cancer risk dates back more than a century, where severe constipation, so-called “chronic intestinal stasis,” was sometimes dealt with surgically. Figuring that the colon was an inessential part of the human anatomy, why not cure constipation by just cutting it out? After the surgery, they noticed that potentially precancerous changes in the breasts of constipated women seemed to disappear.

It would take another 70 years before researchers followed up on the clues by those distinguished surgeons who claimed breast pathology cleared when constipation was corrected. A 1981 study published in The Lancet investigated the relation between potentially precancerous changes in the breast and the frequency of bowl movements in nearly 1,500 women (See Breast Cancer and Constipation). The researchers found that the risk of precancerous changes was four times greater in women reporting two or fewer bowel movements a week compared to more than once daily.

We know that even the non-lactating breast actively takes up chemical substances from the blood. We also know that there are mutagens in feces. It is not unreasonable to suggest that potentially toxic substances derived from the colon have damaging or even carcinogenic effects upon the lining of the breast. Toxic substances like bile acids. Bile acids were first shown to promote tumors in mice in 1940, but subsequent experiments on rats led to the mistaken belief that bile acids just promoted existing cancers and couldn’t initiate tumors themselves. However, there is a fundamental difference between the rodent models and human cancer. Rats only live a few years while humans can live dozens, so the opportunity for cancer causing mutations may be at least 30 times greater in humans. We now have at least 15 studies that show that bile acids can damage DNA, strongly suggesting they can initiate new cancers as well.

Bile acids are formed as a way of getting rid of excess cholesterol. Our liver dumps bile acids into the intestine for disposal, assuming our intestines will be packed with fiber to trap it and flush it out of the body. But if we haven’t been eating enough fiber-rich whole plant foods, bile acids can be reabsorbed back into the body and build up in the breast.

Carcinogenic bile acids are found concentrated in the fluid of breast cysts at up to a hundred times the level found in the bloodstream. By radioactively tagging bile acids, researchers were able to show that intestinal bile acids rapidly gain access to the breast, where they can exert an estrogen-like cancer-promoting effect on breast tumor cells. This would explain why we see 50% higher bile acid levels in the bloodstream of newly diagnosed breast cancer victims. These findings support the concept of a relationship between intestinally-derived bile acids and risk of breast cancer. So how can we facilitate the removal of bile acids from our body?

Slowed colonic transit can increase bile acid levels. Therefore, to decrease absorption of bile acids, we can speed up the so-called “oro-anal transit time,” the speed at which food goes from mouth to toilet, by eating lots of fiber. A diet packed with plants greatly increases bile acid excretion.

Fiber can bind up and remove other toxic elements like lead and mercury as well as cholesterol and bile acids. But plants can bind bile acids even independent of fiber. Vegan diets bind significantly more bile acid than lacto-ovo or non-vegetarian diets even at the same fiber intake, which could explain why individuals eating vegetarian might excrete less mutagenic feces in the first place.

I touched on this in my live presentation From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food, but what I didn’t get to discuss is the relative bile acid binding abilities of different foods. I cover that in my video Which Vegetable Binds Bile Best?

What intestinal transit time should we be shooting for? See Food Mass Transit. That may be why Stool Size Matters. Also, How Many Bowel Movements Should You Have Every Day? We can improve speed and size by Bulking Up on Antioxidants and eating lots of whole plant foods (Prunes vs. Metamucil vs. Vegan Diet).

Fiber may also help women remove excess estrogen from their body. See my video Fiber vs. Breast Cancer. For more on the wonders of fiber, see Dr. Burkitt’s F-Word Diet.

For more of my latest videos on breast cancer prevention and survival, see:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

Michael Greger M.D.About Michael Greger M.D.Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

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