The Importance of Diet and Nutrition in the Treatment of Cancer

 

Cancer and Diet 

Juicing

mindful eating

          


How to Protect Yourself Against Cancer With Food


While you are healing your body from cancer, it is extremely important to be mindful of every single thing that you put into your mouth. The days of eating unconsciously must end if you are serious about overcoming this disease.

Benefits of Nutrition During Cancer Therapy


Providing breast cancer patients with dietary advice as is common in the case of heart disease or diabetes, could greatly increase survival rate. So much suffering could be prevented, and so many lives could be saved, that the evidence must be heard - and acted upon - with the very greatest urgency. - Professor Jane Plant 


              


A cancer diagnosis can be a challenging event for an individual and their family. While any type of cancer could potentially require chemotherapy and treatment by a medical provider, proper nutrition and diet supplementation can help reduce symptoms and improve recovery time.


"Diet affects cancer both directly and indirectly. Nutrients directly impact the mechanisms by which cancer cells grow and spread. They indirectly help control the cancer by changing the surrounding biochemical conditions that either encourage or discourage the progression of malignant disease."-Keith Block MD, Life Over Cancer


Since each person is unique, variability exists between optimal cancer fighting foods for you compared to other people. Since most people eat multiple times daily, cancer diet choices have a strong and constant impact on the body. The foods that you eat support your wellness, vitality, quality of life, and length of life. For cancer patients receiving therapies such as radiation and chemotherapy, proper nutrition can increase the efficacy and diminish the toxicity of conventional cancer treatments. Proper nutrition with cancer fighting foods is also a primary area of focus for cancer prevention. 


There is Not a One Size Fits All Cancer Diet.



A lot of people say a lot of things about the relationship between diet and cancer with cancer fighting foods. The reality is that each person is unique and therefore variability exists between optimal diets. Focus on identifying a person-centered diet tailored to you as an individual and designed for your unique constitution.

Do not expect your conventional cancer care team to educate you about foods and cancer.

Conventional cancer care providers may have some knowledge in this area and understand the powerful relationship between foods and cancer. Or they might refer you to a nutrition expert.

However, mainstream medical training provides very little education if any about the relationship between foods and health and certainly foods and cancer. Most likely, you need to seek information about diet and cancer from other sources.

 Consider consulting with an oncologist, medical doctor, naturopath, nutritionist, or other trained health care professional with expertise in the relationship between foods and cancer. An expert can guide you about specific cancer fighting foods, general nutritional information, and quantities depending upon your condition.

Some cancer patients need help in adding or losing weight due to situations such as cancer cachexia, being overweight, or obese. Many cancer patients need help in strictly avoiding certain foods that contribute to cancer progression while emphasizing the addition of healthy foods and nutrients. An expert can help inform your individualized cancer diet.

 

For cancers involving the esophagus and digestive tract, it’s important to stay away from foods that can cause bloating and gas. This includes foods with fiber, such as beans, cucumbers, starchy foods, and some breads. Since appetite can be affected by chemotherapy, it’s important to eat energy dense foods as often as possible.

It’s important to avoid processed foods during chemotherapy. Many commercial food products are treated with pesticides, hormones, and other artificial chemicals. While these artificial chemicals aren’t good for anyone, individuals with a healthy kidney and liver can process these toxins. Patients undergoing chemotherapy should try to eat only organic and natural foods, if possible.


         


While cancer can be a challenging experience, by following the proper nutrition guidelines, it’s possible to reduce symptoms, improve mood and energy, and speed the body towards an improved prognosis and healthy recovery.

Avoid specific foods and ingredients associated with cancer. Many foods and ingredients are harmful to health and contribute to cancer risk, cancer development, and cancer growth.

Eat organic as much as possible. Many foods today are burdened with pesticides and other chemicals. Some of these chemicals have been associated with cancer. Pay now or pay more later. Choosing organic foods is a worthwhile investment in your life and especially for the top foods with pesticides.


Learn about pH and the acid-alkaline balance.

Alkaline foods


Acid-alkaline balance refers to the internal chemistry of your body's tissues and fluids as measured through pH. Health requires acid-alkaline balance. Research shows that the majority of people with health challenges are overly acidic. Diet is a primary factor creating acidity and the right diet can strongly support an alkaline environment.

Nutrition is an important part of your cancer treatment.

  • Feel better
  • Keep your energy and strength
  • Keep your weight
  • Tolerance the side effects of treatment
  • Decrease your risk of infection
  • Heal and recover more quickly
  • Eating well means eating a variety of foods that provide you with the nutrition you need to help you to heal from cancer. 

        


Plant- Based Diet


Phytonutrients or phytochemicals are plant compounds like carotenoids, lycopene, resveratrol, and phytosterols that are thought to have health-protecting qualities. They are found in plant products such as fruits, vegetables, and teas.

The fast majority of studies regarding diet and cancer published is the  medical literature suggest a significant protective effect of diets rich in vegetable and fruits. It is believed that a number of different mechanism in the plants are protecting the body from cancer.

Vegetables and fruits are key sources of antioxidants, which play an important role in preventing the damage to cells cause by free radicals. Creating free radicals is unavoidable. They are a natural byproduct of cell mechanism. However, many things accelerate the production of free radicals, including chemical toxins, diet, alcohol , smoking, radiation and excessive exercise. It is believed that free radicals are the main culprits that destroy cell structure ( Denham Harman, MD University of Nebraska 1956)  



Cruciferous Vegetables  


Cruciferous vegetables are the “warriors” of the anticancer foods and are essential in the diet.

Cruciferous vegetables are not only the most powerful anti-cancer foods in existence, they are also the most nutrient-dense of all vegetables, they are rich in enzymes ( power of enzymes),  and are noble alkalizers for our blood.

Acid-alkaline balance refers to the internal chemistry of your body's tissues and fluids as measured through pH. Health requires acid-alkaline balance. Research shows that the majority of people with health challenges are overly acidic. Diet is a primary factor creating acidity and the right diet can strongly support an alkaline environment.


Here are some other noble alkalizers:

Arugula, bok choy, broccoli, broccoli rabe, broccolini, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mache, mustard greens, radish, red cabbage, rutabaga, turnips, turnip greens, watercress.

Learn about pH and the acid-alkaline balance.

Alkaline foods


          


Antioxidants


Antioxidants nutrients help your body to neutralize free radicals and hence help to protect the body from cancer.

Some of the best known antioxidants are vitamin C, E, Selenium, Zinc , coenzyme Q 10 and beta carotene, which are found in a wide variety of vegetables and fruits.


Another antioxidant is Lyopene,which gives tomatoes the red colour.


Other example include polyphenols, which occurs in green tea and glutathione, which is found in vegetables and fruits and is also created in the body from amino acids.


Green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower (called cruciferous vegetables) are rich in other phytonutrients. These are also believed to protect cancer, including removing estrogen and other harmful substances from the cells.


Red grapes are rich in Resveratrol, which is believed to protect cancer by inhibiting enzymes involved in inflammation. 


Fermented Soya product, including tofu and miso, contain a chemical, called isoflavones, which act as weak estrogen and believed to help reduce the risk of hormone related cancers.      



Herbs


Herbal supplements have become full fledged alternatives to prescription drugs. Herbs and herbal compounds are usually taken with a specific medicinal intent. They are a real attraction for many people because they are natural products as they come from plants and trees rather from laboratories and chemicals. Most herbs are harmless, safe to take and with no side effects. Herbs have been used for centuries by different cultures around the world for the treatment of cancer, i.e. St. John's wort for depression, ginger for nausea and aloe vera for topical irritation related to radiation.

However, you need to know that some herbs, when taken concurrently with chemotherapy or other orthodox prescribed medications can interfere with your conventional cancer treatment. If you are interested in using products containing herbs of any kind, it is important to notify your doctor.

      


Vitamins and minerals


The body needs small amounts of vitamins and minerals to help it function properly. Most are found naturally in foods. They are also sold as supplements in pill and liquid form. They help the body use the energy (calories) found in foods.

A person who eats a balanced diet with enough calories and protein usually gets plenty of vitamins and minerals. But it can be hard to eat a balanced diet when you are being treated for cancer, especially if you have treatment side effects that last for a long time.  


Dr Rosy Daniel (Cancer Directory, 140 - 141):


"This is a a controversial area, with many oncologists telling patients to stop taking vitamins and minerals during treatment as they may adversely affect the effectiveness of the conventional medical treatment of your cancer, both during treatment and as prevention after treatment.

However, new evidence from the world's leading authority in this field, Professor Kedar N. Prasat, MD PhD, at the center for Vitamin and cancer Research, Department of Radiology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, has shown that antioxidant vitamin / mineral therapy enhances the effectiveness of both chemo - and radiotherapy. He states categorically that we should take more, not less, antioxidants to treat and prevent cancer. However, toxic doses are those which affect the growth of both normal and cancer cell, and have no place in cancer therapy.

He also stresses the importance of stopping smoking prior to treatment with antioxidants as the presence of cigarette smoke also changes the activity profile of antioxidants, especially beta - carotene".

 

The body needs small amounts of vitamins and minerals to help it function properly. Most are found naturally in foods. They are also sold as supplements in pill and liquid form. They help the body use the energy (calories) found in foods. A person who eats a balanced diet with enough calories and protein usually gets plenty of vitamins and minerals. But it can be hard to eat a balanced diet when you are being treated for cancer, especially if you have treatment side effects that last for a long time.

I believe it is the best to use herbal medications, a healthy diet, supplements, including vitamins and minerals, with the intention to bring love, care and healing to your whole being (nourishing your body as a garden) rather as a specific treatment for your cancer or any other illness. The purpose of all the above is to strengthen all the aspects of your well being and when taken in moderation, most people will benefit from them. In general resist the temptation to think of any medical drug or treatment, herb or supplement as the magic bullet of a quick fix or cure for your illness.


Don't put the responsibility for your health on the content of any bottle, regardless of whether they are natural or not.


Instead use them as a means of supporting the healing intention that is present in your mind and heart. This is true for chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery too as for any other complementary and alternative treatments.


       


Proteins


We need protein for growth, to repair body tissue, and to keep our immune systems healthy. When your body doesn’t get enough protein, it might break down muscle for the fuel it needs. This makes it take longer to recover from illness and can lower resistance to infection. People with cancer often need more protein than usual. After surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy, extra protein is usually needed to heal tissues and help fight infection.

Here are some examples of vegetarian foods with high sources of plant protein:

Protein in Legume: Garbanzo beans, kidney beans, lentils, Lima beans, navy beans, soybeans, split peas


Protein in Grain: Barley, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, oatmeal, quinoa, rye, wheat germ, wheat, wild rice


Vegetable Protein: Artichokes, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, eggplant, green peas, green pepper, kale, lettuce, mushroom, mustard green, onions, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, turnip greens, watercress, yams, zucchini


Protein in Fruit: Apple, banana, cantaloupe, grape, grapefruit, honeydew melon, orange, papaya, peach, pear, pineapple, strawberry, tangerine, watermelon.


Protein in Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, cashews, filberts, hemp seeds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts (black)


One excellent ingredient to look for is hemp seed protein. Hemp seed is an nutritious dietary source of easily digestible gluten-free protein. It provides a well-balanced array of all the amino acids, including 34.6 grams of protein for each 100 grams. The fatty acid profile of the hemp seed is extremely beneficial, containing omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in a virtually ideal ratio. Other beneficial aspects of hemp seed include a strongly favorable unsaturated-to-saturated fat ratio; a high content of antioxidants; and a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.


                            Fats

         Good fats - bad fats: good fats - bad fats


       


Fats play an important role in nutrition. Fats and oils are made of fatty acids and serve as a rich source of energy for the body. The body breaks down fats and uses them to store energy, insulate body tissues, and transport some types of vitamins through the blood.

You may have heard that some fats are better for you than others. When considering the effects of fats on your heart and cholesterol level, choose monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats more often than saturated fats or trans fats.


         


Carbohydrates


Carbohydrates are the body’s major source of energy. Carbohydrates give the body the fuel it needs for physical activity and proper organ function. The best sources of carbohydrates – fruits, vegetables, and whole grains – also supply needed vitamins and minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients to the body’s cells.

Avoid the intake any added sugars and sweets. Rather satisfy your sweet toth with healthy vegetable and fruits and  fresh prepared vegetable and fruit juices.

(Read more about the unhealthy effect of sugar: 

Whole grains or foods made from them contain all the essential parts and naturally occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed.

     

Water (Herbal teas, Vegetable Juices: Link: Juicing

Water and liquids or fluids are vital to health. All body cells need water to function. If you do not take in enough fluids or if you lose fluids through vomiting or diarrhea, you can become dehydrated (your body doesn’t have as much fluid as it should). If this happens, the fluids and minerals that help keep your body working can become dangerously out of balance. You do get some water from the foods you eat, but a person should drink about eight 8-ounce glasses of liquid each day to be sure that all the body cells get the fluid they need. You may need extra fluids if you are vomiting or have diarrhea. Keep in mind that all liquids (soups, milk, even ice cream and gelatin) count toward your fluid goals.


        

Nutrients in Whole Foods that Protect Against Cancer

Vitamin A: Strengthens the immune system. Essential for mineral metabolism and endocrine function. Helps detoxify. True vitamin A is found only in animal foods such as cod liver oil; fish and shellfish; and liver, butter and egg yolks from pasture-fed animals. Traditional diets contained ten times more vitamin A than the typical modern American diet.

Vitamin C: An important antioxidant that prevents damage by free radicals. Found in many fruits and vegetables but also in certain organ meats valued by primitive peoples.


Vitamin B 6 : Deficiencies are associated with cancer. Contributes to the function of over 100 enzymes. Most available from animal foods.


Vitamin B 12: Deficiencies are associated with cancer.

Found only in animal foods.


Vitamin B 17 : Protects against cancer.  We hear a great deal about its use in terminal cancer, but the time to start with vitamin B17 is now before the disease become clinical. The time to start is the same with any matter of adequate nutrition and that is right now. The apricot and peach seed contain almost 2 percent of vitamin B17 by weight. The apple seed, although very small, is equally rich in Vitamin B17. So are the seeds of prunes, plums, cherries, and nectarines. The only common fruit on the hemisphere that lacks nitrilosidic seeds, are the citrus.


Two more rich sources of Vitamin B17 are the simple cereal millet and buckwheat. Macadamia nuts, although expensive and exotic, are very rich in Vitamin B17 and so are bamboo shoots, mung beans, lima beans, butter beans and certain strains of garden peas. But for convenience, the simple source for your Vitamin B17 are the seeds of the common fruit.


Vitamin D: Required for mineral absorption. Strongly protective against breast and colon cancer. Found only in animal foods such as cod liver oil, lard, shellfish and butterfat, organ meats and egg yolks from grass-fed animals. Traditional diets contained ten times more vitamin D than the typical modern American diet.


Vitamin E: Works as an antioxidant at the cellular level. Found in unprocessed oils as well as in animal fats like butter and egg yolks.


Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA): Strongly protective against breast cancer. Found in the butterfat and meat fat of grass-fed ruminant animals.


Cholesterol: A potent antioxidant that protects against free radicals in cell membranes. Found only in animal foods.


Minerals: The body needs generous amounts of a wide variety of minerals to protect itself against cancer. Minerals like zinc, magnesium and selenium are vital components of enzymes that help the body fight carcinogens. Minerals are more easily absorbed from animal foods.


Lactic Acid and Friendly Bacteria: Contribute to the health of the digestive tract. Found in old fashioned lacto-fermented foods.


Saturated Fats: Strengthen the immune system. Needed for proper use of the essential fatty acids. The lungs cannot function without saturated fats. Found mostly in animal foods.


Long-Chain Fatty Acids: Arachidonic acid (AA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) help fight cancer on the cellular level. They are found mostly in animal foods such as butter, organ meats, cod liver oil and seafood.


Co-enzyme Q10  : Highly protective against cancer. Found only in animal foods.


         


Foods to Eat


Cruciferous Vegetables: Brussels sprouts, collard greens, kale, chard, watercress, turnip, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, kohlrabi, and others

  • Contains very powerful anticancer compounds through glucosinolates, including sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinols
  • Promotes cancer cell death
  • Blocks the growth of new blood vessels needed for cancer growth
  • Detoxifies certain cancer causing substances
  • Prevents precancerous cells from developing into malignant tumors.


       

Red cabbage contains the compounds that researchers believe are important in preventing many forms of cancer, such as breast cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, and colon cancer. Red cabbage is rich in vitamin C, low in calories, calcium, and flavonoids.

If you don’t like red cabbage, then substitute it with red beets. These vegetables are nutritious and delicious that offer many health benefits including peptic ulcers.

Carotenoids: Fruits and vegetables bright-colored yellow, orange, and red

  • Stimulates the growth of immune cells and increases their capacity to attack tumor cells through lutein, lycopene, phytoene, and canthaxanthin
 
       

Leafy Greens


  • Acts as an antioxidant
  • Supports immune functions

Sprouts: Broccoli sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, kale sprouts, sunflower seed greens, wheatgrass juice, barley grass juice, oat grass juice, cabbage sprouts, cauliflower sprouts, and others

  • Contains high levels of chlorophyll supporting many healthy functions in the body
  • Acts as an antioxidant
  • Provides cells with high levels of enzymes supporting detoxification and other benefits

Berries:


Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, pomegranates, grapes, and others

  • Contains ellagic acid that supports anticancer activity
  • Stimulates mechanisms of elimination of cancer causing substances in the body
  • Inhibits the growth of blood vessels that support cancer
  • Enhances the efficacy of chemotherapy

Garlic, Onions, Leeks, Shallots, and Chives

  • Helps remove toxic substances such as nitrosamines and N-nitroso compounds that are created in over grilled meat and during tobacco consumption
  • Promotes the death of cancer cells
  • Regulates blood sugar levels that reduces insulin secretion and IGF and thereby the growth of cancer cells.
  • Enhances immune function
  • Reduces blood clotting and lowers blood pressure

               


 Herbs and Spices


  • Acts as the most powerful anti-inflammatory
  • Helps stimulate the death of cancer cells
  • Inhibits the growth of new blood vessels needed for cancer growth
  • Enhances the effectiveness of chemotherapy and reduces tumor growth in the laboratory

        Ginger

  • Acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant
  • Acts against certain cancer cells
  • Helps reduce the creation of new blood vessels needed for cancer growth
  • Alleviates nausea from chemotherapy or radiotherapy

      Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, Basil, and Mint

  • Promotes the death of cancer cells and reduces their spread by blocking the enzymes they need to invade neighboring tissues
  • Acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant

Green Tea

  • Reduces the growth of new blood vessels needed for cancer growth and metastases through high levels of polyphenols, including catechins
  • Acts as a powerful antioxidant and detoxifier activating enzymes in the liver that eliminate toxins from the body
  • Facilitates the death of cancer cells.
  • Enhances the effects of radiotherapy on cancer cells in the laboratory.

Seaweed: Nori, kombu, wakame, arame, and dulse

  • Inhibits tumor growth
  • Helps reduce the formation of new blood cells needed for cancer growth.
  • Stimulates immune cells such as T-cells and natural killer cells
  • Acts as an anti-inflammatory

Mushrooms:

Maitake,  shiitake, reishi, turkey tails, enokidake, cremini, Portobello, oyster, and caterpillar fungus or cordyceps

  • Stimulates the reproduction and activity of immune cells such as natural killer cells
  • Enhances the efficacy of chemotherapy while reducing side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
  • Helps to suppress cancer metastasis

Whole Grains:

Brown rice, buckwheat, whole-grain bread, wild rice, rye, quinoa, whole-wheat pasta, barley, and others. Note: People with gluten allergies need to avoid glutens.

  • Dilutes, binds, inactivates, and removes carcinogens, cholesterol, bile acids, and various toxic substances.
  • Prevents the fueling of some types of cancers by balancing levels of glucose and insulin.

Fish

Caution: Many fish contain high levels of toxins such as mercury. Generally, the bigger the fish, the more toxins, and the smaller the fish, the less toxins. Deepwater, northern ocean fish are best, including salmon, cod, haddock, mackerel, and sardines.

  • Supplies omega-3 fatty acids
  • Acts as an anti-inflammatory
  • Strengthens healthy cellular structure, function, and communication.
  • Stimulates immune cells and function.
  • Supports cancer prevention and may promote anti-cancer activity.
  • Promotes brain and nervous system health

"Omega-3s can reverse tumor metastasis as well as a tumor's resistance to radiation or chemotherapy, and may also enhance the effectiveness and minimize the toxic side effects of some chemotherapy drugs."
-Keith Block, MD, Life Over Cancer


 


 Oils, Nuts, and Seeds


Note: Healthy oils include olive, hemp, walnut, coconut, and flaxseed oils that are not rancid. Coconut oil is the most stable for cooking at high temperatures, but must be consumed in moderation. Avoid corn, soy, vegetable, peanut, sunflower, and safflower oils.

  • Supplies omega-3 fats and especially through flax seeds and walnuts
  • Acts as an anti-inflammatory
  • Supports healthy cellular, structure, function, and communication
  • Stimulates immune cells and function
Promotes brain and nervous system health


Compounds in Processed Foods that Can Cause Cancer


Trans Fatty Acids:

Imitation fats in shortenings, margarine's and most commercial baked goods and snack foods. Strongly associated with cancer of the lungs and reproductive organs.


Rancid fats:

Industrial processing creates rancidity (free radicals) in commercial vegetable oils.


Omega-6 fatty acids:

Although needed in small amounts, an excess can contribute to cancer. Dangerously high levels of omega-6 fatty acids are due to the overuse of vegetable oils in modern diets.


 MSG:

Associated with brain cancer. Found in almost all processed foods, even when "MSG" does not appear on the label. Flavorings, spice mixes and hydrolyzed protein contain MSG.


Aspartame (all artificial sweeteners) Imitation sweetener in diet foods and beverages. Associated with brain cancer.


Pesticides: Associated with many types of cancer. Found in most commercial vegetable oils, fruit juices, vegetables and fruits.


Hormones:

Found in animals raised in confinement on soy and grains. Plant-based hormones are plentiful in soy foods.


Artificial Flavorings and Colors:

Associated with various types of cancers, especially when consumed in large amounts in a diet of junk food.


Refined Carbohydrates: Sugar, high fructose corn syrup and white flour are devoid of nutrients. The body uses up nutrients from other foods to process refined carbohydrates. Tumor growth is associated with sugar consumption.


          


About SUGAR »» nutrition and diet


Sugar - Sugar feeds cancer! If you have a diet that is high in sugar, it is likely that the cancer cells will continue to multiply. Many foods have sugar, even healthy foods like fruit. Even these should be eaten in moderation.

We know that cancer cells love to eat glucose, so they actively pick up the tagged glucose. The highlighted nests of radioactive glucose therefore indicate areas of the strongest growth of cancer cells. In other words, cancer cells thrive on sugar. Cancer cells use an anaerobic respiration of sugar to form acids. That is the metabolism of cancer cells. The reason the cancer patient starves while the cancer cells grow is because they are much better at taking up the sugar than are normal cells. If we understand this selective metabolism of cancer well enough to diagnose its growth, then the next step is to withhold sugar and see what happens. The trouble is we need a backup fuel source and this could be with healthy / good fats in your diet.


         


What Foods Should You Best Avoid?


Meat Products - Cooked meat is very high in carcinogens, and carcinogens are known to promote cancer and increase the progression of cancer. We all have heard that vegetarians and vegans have much less incidents of cancer. That is because a plant based diet is very effective in preventing and fighting cancer tumors and cells.

Fast Foods - There are so many reasons why one should not even consider eating fast food when fighting cancer, or ever! No nutritional value, is high in bad fat, extremely high in sugar, genetically modified ingredients, the list goes on and on. If your body is sick, stay away from this stuff. Even if your body is well, stay clear of this garbage food because it will make you sick!


    


Before treatment begins - get into the best shape you can.

Until you begin treatment, you won’t know exactly what, if any, side effects you may have or how you will feel. One way to prepare is to look at your treatment as a time to focus on yourself and on getting well. Here are some other ways to get ready.


Make plans now

You can reduce your anxiety about treatment and side effects by taking action now. Talk to your treatment team about the things that worry you. Learn as much as you can about the cancer and your treatment plan. Planning how you will cope with possible side effects can make you feel more in control and ready for the changes that may come.

Many people have few or no side effects that keep them from eating. Even if you have side effects, they may be mild, and you may be able to manage them with drugs or simple diet changes. Most side effects go away after cancer treatment ends.


Here are some tips to help you get ready for treatment:

Stock your pantry and freezer with your favorite foods so you won’t need to shop as often. Include foods you know you can eat even when you are sick.


The Cancer Lifeline Recipe Cards

Tough Times for going through treatment and severe illness

Clean Machine for detoxification, either following intensive treatment or as a starting point on a holistic health programme

Eat Right for long term healthy eating.

Cook in advance, and freeze foods in meal-sized portions.

Talk to your friends or family members about ways they can help with shopping and cooking, or ask a friend or family member to take over those jobs for you.


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