How to Use Diet and Overcome Side Effects of Cancer Treatment

Cancer therapies like radiation or chemotherapy may be beneficial in destroying cancer cells most cases, but they equally damage healthy or normal cells. Side effects of cancer treatment may include:

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  • Changes in sense of smell
  • Changes in taste buds
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss

These effects may lower the immunity of the body to combat the disease and halt its progress. However, proper diet is a method by which these effects can be contained. Other effects includes soreness in the mouth and low white blood cell count.

The following suggestions may help reduce the side effects of cancer treatment:

  • Always eat by the clock because appetite signals have been destroyed by the treatment
  • Add cream and butter to soups, cooked cereals, and vegetables to increase calories
  • Eat foods that are high in calorie and protein in-between meals. These includes foods like hard-boiled eggs, peanut butter, cheese, and nutritional energy drinks
  • Marinating meat in soy sauce and fat-free Italian dressing may make the food flavourful and invite
  • Add garlic, onion, chilli powder, mustard, and ketchup a little bit at a time to check if it can revive the taste buds
  • Avoid consuming fresh fruits, raw meat and fish
  • Avoid crowds where one could come into contact with others who are ill to avoid the risk of infection, when the blood count is low
  • People with dry and sore mouths as an effect of radiation should practice good oral hygiene and stick to soft textured foods that are not spicy, beverages that are not too hot or cold or with high citric acid content.
  • Limit consumption of alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, which are foods that dry the mouth and cause more irritation. Instead eat more easy to swallow foods such as cream cheeses, mashed potatoes, yogurt, custard, ice cream, and others.
  • Cancer treatment may affect people with gastrointestinal tract issues, leading to constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Eat foods rich in fiber to ease constipation symptoms. Consume foods like ginger candy and avoid high fiber foods to cure diarrhea. Drink lots of water because diarrhea leaves the body dehydrated.


Disclaimer: The content provided on is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical doctor or healthcare professional.

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