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Nutritional Support Services

Nutrition services are essential components of comprehensive cancer care and patient rehabilitation. Eating the right foods before, during, and after treatment can help patients feel better and stay stronger. A healthy diet includes eating and drinking enough of the foods and liquids that have the important nutrients (vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, fat, and water) the body needs.

Recommendations about food and eating for cancer patients can be very different from the suggestions for healthful eating. Some suggest eating foods with high calories and protein. These recommendations are designed specifically for cancer patients because they are designed to increase your strength and to help you withstand the effects of cancer and its treatment.

When a patient is first diagnosed with cancer, his/her doctor talks to each patient about a treatment plan that may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy or immunotherapy.

Many of these methods of treating cancer may cause side effects such as:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Changes in weight
  • Sore mouth or throat
  • Dry mouth
  • Dental and gum problems
  • Changes in sense of taste or smell
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Constipation
  • Need for alternate forms of nutrition (such as tube feedings)

Our oncologists and nurses coordinate with registered dietitians (RD) to educate patients about healthy diets and to help patients better manage treatment and disease-related side effects. The RD must receive a consult from the patient’s oncologist in order to schedule an appointment. Our staff is happy to arrange this appointment with a registered dietician and to coordinate care for home health care services as appropriate.

Click here for more information on Medical Nutrition Therapy