Sunday, June 2, 2013

Proper nutrition is imperative during cancer treatment!

Happy Sunday everyone! I can't believe it's already June.. where is the time going?! I have a special guest today, since it's National Cancer Survivor Day. David Haas, who is a researcher/writer on how healthy eating and nutrition benefits those undergoing cancer treatment. David was nice enough to reach out to me and provide a post for the Blissfully Miller readers!  Everyone is affected by cancer in some way and this is a great informational post for today!


Undergoing cancer care is stressful for many reasons. While all patients are different, common side effects from cancer treatment can cause similar side effects. Studies have shown that maintaining a healthy diet helps many patients recover from the effects more quickly. Knowing what to eat and what to avoid throughout cancer care can help minimize some of the unpleasant effects and help the patient focus their energy on their road to survivorship.

The most common side effect cancer patients experience during chemotherapy treatment is fatigue, which can be extreme. While there is no real cure for fatigue, patients can help manage this particular symptom by eating healthier foods that add energy naturally. Protein from dairy, lean meat, fish and poultry can boost energy levels. The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance reports that staying hydrated helps some patients who are extremely tired. Make sure to get 8 ounces of fluid a day. Water is your best choice, but juices, milk and broth are fine, too. Beverages that contain caffeine don’t count.

Depending on where radiation therapy is delivered, some patients undergoing radiation can experience soreness in their mouth, along with a metallic taste that can make some foods taste unpleasant. According to the Mayo Clinic, spicy or acidic foods can exacerbate this symptom, so radiation patients will want to choose blander meals during their treatment. In addition, drinking from a straw can help liquids avoid affected areas of the mouth.

Unfortunately, even years after treatment is complete, some patients experience a condition commonly known as “chemo brain,” a lingering side effect that results in short-term memory loss, difficulty concentrating and leaving many patients feeling as if they have lost the ability to multi-task. There are foods that are known to boost brain power, so patients who suffer from this malady should opt for healthy foods like salmon, spinach, apples and blackberries, to name a few. Increase the intake of vegetables, raw and cooked. Many studies have shown that veggies also increase brain power, according to the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.

A cancer diagnosis is overwhelming, frightening and daunting, as any cancer survivor can attest. Patients worry about many things, including how they will feel and function while they are receiving treatment. Fortunately, cancer care continues to improve and side effects can often be managed. Proper nutrition during treatment is a simple and smart method of coping with many of the most common physical feelings patients experience throughout treatment and on to recovery.


Huge thanks to David for providing this awesome post! If y'all have any questions, please ask them in the 'Comment' section and I'll be sure to get the answers for you! 

Enjoy your day!



  1. Great post, Jessica. I spent two years of my career as an oncology specialist. Proper nutrition is vital during treatment. Eating Hints is one of my favorite resources.

  2. I think everyone will agree to that. Proper nutrition is important with or without cancer treatments. Me and Dr Fredda Branyon appreciates your blog so much! Thanks about this.