Cancer is a complex disease that requires a comprehensive approach to treatment, including proper nutrition. Oncology nutrition, also known as onco-diet, is a specialised field of nutrition that focuses on the unique nutritional needs of cancer patients. A healthy and balanced diet can help improve a patient's overall quality of life, reduce the side effects of treatment, and even improve treatment outcomes. In this article, we will discuss seven compelling reasons why cancer patients should consider incorporating onco-diet into their treatment plan. From managing side effects to improving immune function, onco-diet can play an important role in supporting cancer patients' health and well-being throughout their treatment journey.
As a cancer patient, maintaining best nutrition is essential to help your body fight the disease and cope with the side effects of treatment. Here are some nutritional advantages during cancer treatment:
- Support treatment outcomes: Eating a balanced and nutrient-rich diet can help support cancer treatment outcomes. Research suggests that patients who follow a healthy diet during treatment may experience fewer side effects and better treatment outcomes than those who do not.
- Manage side effects: Cancer treatment can cause a range of side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. Onco-diet can help manage these side effects by incorporating specific foods and nutrients that can help reduce their severity and improve patients' quality of life.
- Boost immune function: A healthy diet can help boost immune function, which is essential for cancer patients undergoing treatment. A strong immune system can help fight off infections and reduce the risk of complications during treatment.
- Prevent malnutrition: Cancer patients are at risk of malnutrition due to the disease's impact on the body and the side effects of treatment. Onco-diet can help prevent malnutrition by providing patients with the necessary nutrients to maintain their strength and energy.
- Reduce inflammation: Chronic inflammation has been linked to cancer development and progression. Onco-diet can help reduce inflammation in the body by incorporating anti-inflammatory foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Support mental health: A cancer diagnosis can be emotionally challenging, and many patients may experience depression, anxiety, or stress. Onco-diet can support mental health by providing patients with the necessary nutrients to maintain their mood and cognitive function.
- Improve overall quality of life: A healthy and balanced diet can improve a cancer patient's overall quality of life by providing them with the necessary nutrients to maintain their energy and strength. Eating a nutritious diet can also improve patients' ability to participate in daily activities, socialise with loved ones, and enjoy their favourite hobbies.
Overall, a healthy and balanced diet can help you maintain your strength and energy during cancer treatment and improve your overall quality of life. It is important to speak with your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian to develop a personalised nutrition plan that meets your specific needs and preferences.
NUTRITIONAL REQUIREMENTS OF CANCER PATIENTS
- Protein is an essential nutrient that aids in tissue repair and maintenance of a healthy immune system. High protein for cancer patients in their diet than the average person, especially after surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy. Good sources of protein include fish, poultry, lean red meat, eggs, low-fat dairy products, nuts, and soy foods.
- Fats are also an essential part of a healthy diet, and some fats are healthier than others. Saturated and trans fats should be avoided or limited, and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats should be preferred. Good sources of healthy fats include olive oil, canola oil, flaxseed oils, and seafood.
- Carbohydrates are the body's primary energy source and provide the fuel needed for physical activity and organ function. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are the best sources of carbohydrates and provide essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients to the body's cells.
- Water is crucial for the proper functioning of all bodily cells, and dehydration can be a severe problem for cancer patients. Cancer treatment can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, which can lead to dehydration, and it's essential to drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Vitamins and minerals are essential for the body to function correctly, and antioxidants and phytonutrients present in plant-based foods help prevent cell damage and promote good health. It's important to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables to increase the intake of these nutrients.
In summary, good nutrition is vital for cancer patients as it helps in maintaining a healthy immune system, promoting tissue repair, and providing energy to the body. A healthy diet consisting of protein, healthy fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, and consuming enough fluids can help cancer patients cope with the side effects of treatment and improve their overall health.
Why It’s Critical To Maintain a holistic cancer diet Both During And After Cancer Treatment
It's crucial to maintain a healthy diet both during and after cancer treatment for several reasons.
- First, cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, can often cause side effects that impact a patient's ability to eat and maintain a healthy diet. Eating a well-balanced diet during treatment can help alleviate some of these side effects, such as nausea and fatigue, and help the patient feel better overall.
- Second, a healthy diet can help support the body's immune system and aid in the healing process after cancer treatment. This is because a healthy diet provides essential nutrients, such as protein, vitamins, and minerals, that are necessary for the body to function properly and heal damaged tissues.
- Third, cancer treatment can often result in weight loss and muscle wasting, which can weaken the body and make it more susceptible to infection and other health problems. Eating a diet that is high in protein and other essential nutrients can help prevent muscle wasting and promote weight gain, which can help the patient regain their strength and energy.
Finally, maintaining a cancer healing diet after cancer treatment can help reduce the risk of cancer recurrence and other health problems. Eating a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help support the body's immune system and reduce inflammation, which has been linked to an increased risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.
Nutrition-Related Side Effects Are Associated With Cancer and Cancer Treatments.
Yes, cancer and cancer therapies can have nutrition-related adverse effects. Cancer and its treatments can affect a patient's appetite, taste, and ability to eat, leading to weight loss, malnutrition, and dehydration. Some common nutrition-related adverse effects of cancer and cancer therapies include:
- Loss of appetite: Cancer and cancer treatments can cause a loss of appetite, leading to reduced food intake.
- Changes in taste: Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can cause changes in taste perception, making food taste unpleasant or metallic. This can lead to decreased appetite and weight loss.
- Nausea and vomiting: Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and some medications used to treat cancer can cause nausea and vomiting, which can make it difficult to eat and maintain proper nutrition.
- Mouth sores: Cancer treatments can cause mouth sores, which can make it difficult to eat and drink.
- Diarrhoea and constipation: Some cancer treatments can cause diarrhea or constipation, which can affect a patient's ability to absorb nutrients from food.
- Malabsorption: Certain cancers and cancer treatments can affect the body's ability to absorb nutrients, leading to malnutrition.
- Dehydration: Cancer treatments can cause dehydration, which can lead to fatigue, weakness, and other complications.
It is important for cancer patients to work with their healthcare team and a registered dietitian to manage these nutrition-related adverse effects and maintain a healthy diet. A healthy diet can help patients feel better, maintain their strength, and support their body's ability to fight cancer.
BEST ONCO-DIETICIANS AT IMMUNOSCIENCES
Consult with your doctor or healthcare provider: They may be able to refer you to a qualified onco-dietician.
It's important to find a qualified and experienced onco-dietician who can provide individualised nutritional support and guidance during and after cancer treatment.