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An important aspect of supporting cancer Survivors (patients) includes providing them with dietary guidelines and advice before, during and after treatment.
We recognise that it’s particularly unsettling for cancer Survivors (patients) undergoing treatment, that side effects of treatment or the disease itself can lead to eating and drinking being unpleasant. Aside from the challenge of maintaining adequate nutritional intake, there are also psycho-social knock-on effects. For example, Survivors, depending on which side effects they are experiencing, may prefer not to eat with others, or be fearful of eating, because of a side effect they may experience.
Cancer treatment kills off cancer cells, but unfortunately, healthy cells may be damaged in the process resulting in various side effects, that may differ from one person to another. Side effects of treatment (such as a sore mouth or throat, dry mouth, dental or gum deterioration, change in taste or smell of food, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea or constipation) can lead to avoidance of meals or difficulty in taking in enough food and fluids. This in turn may lead to malnutrition and negatively affect the patient’s health further.
It’s important for Survivors undergoing treatment to consume a variety of foods in order for their bodies to take in sufficient nutrients to fight cancer. Good nutrition leads to increased strength and energy, lowers risk for infection and helps patients maintain an appropriate weight. An added complication is that cancer treatment may affect the manner in which the body tolerates food and makes use of nutrients, which may also vary during and after treatment. For this reason we recommend that if possible, Survivors consult with a registered dietician if they are experiencing problems related to diet.
CANSA gives some top tips for dealing with common side effects related to nutrition (see posts below) and view infographics, as well as nutritious, affordable recipes for patients undergoing treatment.
Further dietary tips about coping with constipation, nausea, diarrhoea and loss of appetite are available from Sr Vlooi Venter firstname.lastname@example.org, however, CANSA also recommends that Survivors speak to a healthcare professional for individualised advice.
Per Cancer Type:
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Published: 18 January 2024
Updated: 22 January 2024
Categories: Balanced Lifestyle, CANSA Seal of Recognition - Edible Consumer Goods Category, CANSA's Seal of Recognition, Dietary Tips
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In September, CANSA raises awareness of childhood cancer and the importance of support for children and parents affected specifically regarding food and diets. CANSA TLC partnered with B-well to produce a booklet, ‘Understanding a Child’s Dietary Needs When They are Diagnosed with Cancer’ for parents to better manage the dietary side effects their children experience while on cancer treatment…Read more
Theme: Dietary tips – managing side effects of cancer treatment and staying healthy. The good, the bad and the ugly of your eating habits…Read more
CANSA highlights its service offering to cancer patients, caregivers and loved ones, in particular regarding coping with a diagnosis as well as managing side effects of cancer treatment, whether physical, or psychological. An important aspect of this includes providing patients with dietary guidelines and advice before, during and after treatment.Read more
Find useful dietary tips to cope with side effects of treatment in our slideshow…Read more
Affordable, nutritious recipes for cancer patients dealing with the side effects of cancer treatment…Read more
Loss of appetite is a very common problem. There are many reasons for this, including the cancer itself, treatment, your emotional well-being (e.g. depression), pain and other side effects, like nausea. Find tips to help you cope…Read more
Diarrhoea is the passing of loose stools (not formed and watery) frequently (more than three times a day). The food moves through the gut too quickly and does not get a chance to be digested or absorbed. Find tips to help you cope…Read more
Unfortunately, many pain medications, especially the ones for severe pain (e.g. morphine); can cause constipation, which is the opposite of diarrhoea. The stools are hard, and difficult and painful to pass. Find tips to help you cope…Read more
Battling with nausea is a common side effect of cancer treatment and can be addressed with drugs called antiemetics, which are usually taken before treatment to help control nausea and vomiting. Find tips to help you cope…Read more
The Smart Choice Cookbook with CANSA and B-well is a collection of recipes that focuses on cancer risk reduction. All the recipes were developed in consultation with CANSA’s consulting dietitian Megan Pentz-Kluyts, who is renowned for her knowledge on the role of nutrition in helping to lower the risk of cancer.Read more
Eating well is an important part of improving your health and helping reduce your cancer risk. The lunch box is a tool for setting up healthy eating habits for life, so it is really important to think about all the foods that are packed into your lunch box. Remember every little bit counts. Small steps can make a big difference…Read more
English version PDF Lees meer omtrent top dieetwenke vir kankerpasiënte…Read more
Published: 20 August 2018
Updated: 11 March 2021
Categories: Dietary Tips
English Media Release 26 Julie 2018 – Gedurende Augustus val die kollig van KANSA op dienslewering aan kankeroorwinnaars, versorgers en geliefdes en daar word in besonder gekyk na die hantering van ‘n diagnose sowel as die hantering van newe-effekte van kankerbehandeling – hetsy van fisiese of sielkundige aard. #CANSACares Laai PDF af ‘n Belangrike aspek […]Read more
Published: 31 July 2018
Updated: 30 April 2021
Categories: Dietary Tips
CANSA supports National Nutrition Week 2016’s campaign “Love Your Beans – Eat Dry Beans, Peas and Lentils”, acknowledging that these are smart, healthy food choices – view video, infographic and easy to prepare recipes…Read more