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Nutrition in Oncology

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Regardless of the type of cancer, nutrition is an important part of the treatment process in oncological diseases. In this process, it is necessary to create a nutritional program with the advice of doctors or dieticians, not with hearsay information. It is also possible to eliminate the negative effects of chemotherapy with a proper nutritional program.

In hospitals or clinics, a medical history must be taken to determine the dietary habits of oncology patients. During this process, a treatment program is determined that is both therapeutic and palliative and strengthens the immune system. Not only the patient, but also his or her family members are educated about nutrition during oncological diseases. So what should nutrition look like during cancer treatment and oncological diseases?

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The Effect of Nutritional Habits in Oncology Diseases

During cancer treatment with chemotherapy or radiation therapy, certain nutritional problems may occur. These problems occur regardless of the type of cancer. To overcome these problems, adherence to nutritional programs in oncologic diseases is of great importance. The most common nutritional problem in all oncologic diseases is loss of appetite. In addition, weight gain or weight loss may occur.

Other common nutrition-related problems in oncology patients during cancer treatment include the following:

Pain in the mouth or throat, soreness in the mouth, sensitivity to smell or taste, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to allergenic foods, disturbance of fluid balance, changes in blood counts.

To avoid all these problems, nutritional programs in oncological diseases should be followed and do not deviate from the doctor's recommendations. If you would like to receive detailed information about the nutritional principles in oncological diseases, you can contact us now.

What Should be the Diet in Oncological Diseases?

In order to eliminate nutritional problems in oncological diseases during cancer treatment, certain rules should be followed and certain foods should be consumed. For example, in oncological diseases, the ideal body weight must be maintained with the help of nutritional programs. It is also extremely important to reduce the consumption of fat and sugar, and to avoid processed meats and offal such as soudjouk, salami or sausage.

In addition, fried products should not be on the menu in oncological diseases, and methods such as steaming, boiling or baking should be preferred as cooking methods. Patients' refraining from excessive salt consumption and proper food storage are important rules of nutritional programs for oncological diseases.

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Dietary Recommendations for Oncological Diseases

If nutrition in oncological diseases is not correct, existing problems are likely to be aggravated. Only with a correct nutritional program is it possible to prevent the treatment from sores in the mouth or similar side effects. In fact, the patients' dietary habits should be as follows:

  • Make sure you consume enough protein. You can get the proteins you need from legumes, red meat, cheese and eggs.
  • Do not restrict fat and carbohydrate intake. Cutting off fat and carbohydrate intake can lead to weight loss. This is an undesirable and unhealthy situation during oncology disease diets. If you do not want to eat bread, you can eat nuts or pasta, potatoes and cereal products.
  • Consume enough water. Consume at least 2.5 liters of water a day to avoid being damaged or tired by problems such as cancer treatment, diarrhea, dry skin, or to protect your skin health.
  • Pay attention to vitamin and mineral intake. Getting the vitamins and minerals we need also helps strengthen our immune system. Choose to eat vegetables or fruits to get vitamins and minerals. You can have 2 portions of fruit and 3 portions of vegetables daily.

The diet of all oncology patients should be made with these rules in mind. Doctors should be informed about possible problems, and nutrition programs in oncology diseases should be modified individually if it is considered necessary.

How Can Nutritional Problems in Oncological Diseases be Solved?

Observing nutritional programs in all oncologic diseases is the best way to solve existing problems. Nutritional programs in oncological diseases solve the problems that may occur in this process as follows:

  • Cancer-related anxiety or depression may cause patients to lose their appetite. In such cases, even if patients are not hungry, they may eat gradually but frequently to facilitate food intake.
  • For problems such as oral or pharyngeal pain and oncologic disease, the diet plan should consist of foods such as ripe and fresh fruits, boiled eggs, vegetable purees, pureed soups, and yogurt. Hard foods should be avoided whenever possible. You should also perform regular oral care before and after meals.
  • For taste and odor changes, eating foods that smell good and look appealing can help, and you can use aromatic spices with a pleasant and pungent smell, such as basil, mint, or rosemary.
  • If you have nausea or vomiting, you should avoid greasy and fried foods, eat foods such as cooked chicken without skin and dried fruits, eat your meals slowly, and do not lie down after eating. If you have vomiting episodes, you should not eat anything until these episodes stop.
  • If you suffer from diarrhea, you should choose foods lowin fat and sugar. In addition, you can consume foods high in potassium, such as broth, peaches, bananas, baked potatoes or boiled potatoes.

If you follow all of these rules when eating for oncologic disease, you can keep potential problems to a minimum. However, you should report any problems with diet in oncologic diseases to your doctor immediately.

What You Need to Know About Diet in Oncological Diseases

Because the medications used in cancer treatment can alter the sense of taste and smell, nutrition programs are important in oncologic disease. In addition to the nutrition program, diet is also important in oncologic diseases. For example, it is recommended to eat small and frequent meals instead of eating large and frequent meals. You should also plan your physical activity before and after meals with your doctor.

Below is some information about the nutrition program and diet for oncology diseases:

  • You can try consuming ginger if you have symptoms such as nausea or vomiting.
  • If you have dry mouth, you need to drink plenty of water. You can also try chewing gum to combat dry mouth,
  • Do not eat foods or use medications based on hearsay, such as advice from a relative or acquaintance.
  • Vegetables, plants, or fruits such as garlic, soy, flaxseed, St. John's wort, and grapefruit may interact negatively with some medications used in cancer treatment; therefore, they should not be included in oncology nutrition programs or only on the advice of a doctor,
  • Your doctor or dietitian should determine the content of your meals in any case.

During treatment, nutrition plans in oncology are created specifically for the patient. Dietary plans made according to one's own preferences or based on hearsay often have negative consequences. In such a case, it is even possible that the effect of the treatment will decrease. If you would like to learn about nutritional programs for oncological diseases, learn about the effects of the foods you eat on your disease, and make an appointment to create a nutritional program, you can contact us now.

Last Update : 22.10.2023