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Managing Nutrition-Related Side Effects of Cancer Treatment

by Carly Roop, RD, LDN, CSO

Many studies have found that good nutrition plays a role in improved cancer survival. How­ever, treatment-related side effects, if left unmanaged, can complicate things. Side effects can compromise a person’s ability to get the nutrition they need and stay on course with their treatment. As a nutrition counselor, my job is to help you prevent and manage side ef­fects that interfere with good nutrition during treatment.

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Eat Well. Be Well.

by Mary-Eve Brown, RD, LDN, CSO

When you’re being treated for cancer, it can be difficult to get the nutrition you need. Side effects of the disease and its treat­ment can interfere with your ability to eat well. However, research has shown that people who maintain their weight and strength during treatment are better able to handle treatment-related side effects and have an overall better quality of life. If you’re having trouble eating well during treatment, consider the fol­lowing strategies for overcoming the barriers to good nutrition.

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What Breast Cancer Survivors Need to Know about Osteoporosis & Vitamin D Deficiency

by Nancy Waltman, PhD, APRN-NP

As a breast cancer survivor, you will face ongoing health challenges even after you’ve won your battle against cancer. One such challenge will be to keep your bones healthy and strong to reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis, a condition that causes bone loss and fractures. Osteoporosis is a major health concern for postmenopausal women, and breast cancer survivors are at even greater risk for developing the condition.

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A Recipe for Preventing Weight Loss during Treatment

Many people with cancer experi­ence a loss of appetite and a decrease in food intake, which can result in significant weight loss. Pre­venting weight loss is important to help your body heal and recover from the side effects of cancer therapy.

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The Dish on Good Nutrition for Cancer Survivors

by Cara Anselmo, MS, RDN, CDN

Maintaining good nutrition during and after cancer treat­ment is essential for recovery. A healthy diet can help boost energy, regulate body weight, fight infection, and decrease treatment-related side effects. It also can (and should!) be a delicious part of your daily life.

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Fight Fatigue with Food

by Danielle Karsies, MS, RD, CSO

Feeling drained? You’re not alone. Almost all cancer survivors will experience fatigue at some point during their treatment or recovery. While eating may not feel worth the effort, especially when you don’t have much of an appetite, it is. Food is the fuel on which your body runs. Just like you can’t expect your car to run with­out gas, your body cannot run without food. To fight fatigue, you need to con­sume enough calories and protein from high-octane foods to rev your engine.

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Preventing Weight Loss during Cancer Treatment

by Colleen Gill, MS, RD, CSO

Three common problems lead to the rapid weight loss associated with many cancers and cancer treatments. Without hunger, it’s easy to forget to eat. When food no longer tastes right, there’s little incentive to finish. Filling up on half the food you could previously eat thwarts anyone’s best intentions.

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Food to Fight Cancer, Food to Fuel Life

by Cassandra Vanderwall, MS, RD, CDE, CPT

Cancer treatment is a battle. The body and mind experience changes that begin with the disease and proceed through treatment and recovery. These changes include several nutrition-related alterations, such as changes in appetite, diminished ability to eat, and high blood sugar with insulin resistance. Most of these metabolic changes are caused by alterations in the body’s immune response that occur because of cancer or its treatment.

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