What Can I Eat When Receiving Chemotherapy and/or Radiation?

by | May 6, 2020

Zoom Tele-Clinic: Effects of Chemo & Radiation follow link for more information. Scheduled May 7, 2020.

Patients undergoing cancer treatment experience a multitude of symptoms that can influence their ability to complete treatment as well as their quality of life during and after treatment.

[highlight]Cancer is the most dreaded human disease and one that still evades medical science understanding of the cause(s) and susceptibilities.  Genetics alone accounts for only 12% of overall cases. [/highlight]

The Problem

Cancer treatment usually affects one’s ability to taste, digest and absorb nutrients.   These dietary changes can complicate other treatment related symptoms. For example, cancer patients who experience chemosensory alterations, distorted taste, and increased sensitivity to smells due to a side effect of treatment  are more likely to experience higher levels of weight loss, lower energy intake, and worse quality of life.    A high number of patients undergoing cancer treatment report distortions to their sense of taste or smell. Cancer patients also report early appetite and food aversions as a result of treatment. Dietary interventions, including customized and personalized foods, food combining, flavor enhancement, oral supplementation, or tube feeding, have been found to lessen weight loss and improve health status (9, 20–23).


Most of the research exploring the relationship between diet and health status/quality of life during cancer treatment has focused on specific subgroups, such as patients with advanced cancer or patients with head and neck cancers (18,20), and include smaller sample sizes. However, a recent study of 1453 outpatients suggests that a broader range of patients are at nutritional risk during cancer treatment. Despite this, nutritional evaluations are not routinely conducted with cancer patients. Many cancer patients who fail under chemotherapy and/or radiation actually succumb to malnutrition when the clinical cancer is going into remission.  So, some researchers are looking more closely at nutrition as a primary focus on cancer itself.

Optimizing Nutrition For The Individual

Optimal nutrition works synergistically with modern oncology procedures and can dramatically improve the quality and quantity of life for cancer patients. Nutrition helps to harness the incredible healing power of nature and science, with the results being a healthy human body that is self-regulating and self-repairing.  A number of creditable researchers in this area include Patrick Quillin PhD, RD, CNC. His decade experience at the Cancer Centers of America offers up-to-date information about the human body’s own “host defense mechanisms” in the war on cancer, providing a multidisciplinary approach to treatment based on scientific studies and clinical experience. Quillin, a medical professional who has published extensively, has conducted nutrition studies with hundreds of patients in formal clinical settings. He discusses conventional therapies (chemotherapy, surgery), alternative therapies (macrobiotics, herbal and vitamin therapies), and related factors (psychosocial health, drugs, tobacco, immune dysfunctions). Appendixes list treatment referral agencies, mail-order nutrition products, suggested readings, nutritionally oriented doctors in the United States and Canada, and recipes using foods known to slow tumor growth. His book is written in an easy-to-read style, this work is informative, and a useful guide to authoritative alternatives in cancer treatment would be appreciated in public library or consumer health collections.  I highly recommend it and have found the advice supported with good science.

Teleclinic May 7, 2020.

Wholesome ~ Fresh ~ Delicious                                                                                                    A Cookbook From The Brouse House

Wholesome ~ Fresh ~ Delicious A Cookbook From The Brouse House

JENNIE BROUSE has a passion for making delicious, nutritious food, and has been practicing since she was a girl. Her dear mother instilled in her the wisdom of eating for health, growing and preserving food from their large garden, and cooking from scratch. This lifestyle continued while raising their children to today. Sharing her delicious meals with friends and family has been part of her “love language”. Jennie’s husband, Richard, has counseled many patients with nutritional advice for over 43 years. She has worked beside him encouraging them in their change to a healthier lifestyle, including eating habits. This cookbook has evolved from the many requests of patients and friends who want a few guidelines for more wholesome cooking. Thus, Wholesome-Fresh-Delicious has been created with recipes that have been favorites in the Brouse house. It is the authors’ hope that many will be inspired to seek out more wholesome food sources, embrace seasonal eating of fresh produce, and love cooking from scratch; all of which will encourage great health! https://www.brousehousecookbook.com/

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