One of the most important things you can do to get through your cancer treatment comfortably and successfully is maintain a good diet.
Unfortunately, many oncology patients make dietary mistakes that can aggravate the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment while also making it harder for the body to fend off cancer.
The following are five dietary mistakes that it's important to avoid while you're being treated for cancer:
Skimping on the first meal of the day
Cancer patients are often hungriest early in the day. They also are especially in need of energy to get through the day and any treatment procedures they have scheduled.
Later in the day, cancer patients may be more inclined to feel sick to their stomach or to experience side effects from treatment procedures. It's important to fit a big nutrient-packed meal in early in the day when patients are feeling the most appetite.
Allowing your weight to fluctuate a lot over time
Oncologists will often recommend that cancer patients try to keep their weight the same throughout treatment. While patients often lose their appetite while they're being treated, they need to try to maintain the same caloric intake and avoid losing excessive amounts of weight.
While cancer patients shouldn't stress over weight gain or loss, they should regularly check their weight on the scale and talk to their doctor about any significant fluctuations.
Sitting out on family meals
Cancer patients should always try to have meals with their family like normal during treatment. Sitting out on family meals can detract from a patient's mood and isolate the patient during a difficult time.
It's always a good idea to sit for family meals even if you don't feel up to eating to socialize and normalize your treatment period.
Failing to make a special effort to eat healthier during cancer treatment
Getting adequate nutrition during cancer treatment is especially important. Some nutrients that are especially important during cancer treatment including chemotherapy are fats, proteins, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.
Discuss your diet with your oncologist to arrive upon the best possible meal plan for your unique situation.
Allowing unappetizing odors to linger in the home
Cancer patients can be very sensitive to unusual or unpleasant odors. The slightest odor can turn a patient's appetite when he or she is undergoing chemotherapy.
Paying attention to odors in your home is important to maintaining a healthy diet and meeting all your nutritional needs during treatment. It might help to get an air filter if there are odors like cigarette smoke in your home or building.
For more information, contact an oncologist.