Eating well helps cancer patients manage treatment
Breast Health Cancer treatment can cause several unpleasant side-effects. Whether it’s weight loss, weight gain, or digestive issues, food should support your body when it needs it most.
Shortage of information
There is a real shortage of dietitian-approved information available that supports women living with breast cancer, so World Cancer Research Fund's booklet neatly fills a real gap in the market.
"Nearly half of cancer patients going through treatment receive no dietary advice at all."
In fact, the charity’s new survey has found that nearly half of cancer patients going through treatment receive no dietary advice at all that could help them with the side-effects they’re experiencing. Another 21 per cent only get ‘a small amount’ of advice.
Endorsed by the British Dietetic Association, the new booklet advises women on the types of food that can help them cope with the side-effects of their breast cancer treatment – common side-effects include constipation, diarrhoea and fatigue (extreme tiredness).
Another side-effect – and one that is particularly common – is weight loss, with patients unable to eat as normal, or to absorb what they need from the food they can eat. This can lead to malnutrition, which in turn can worsen quality of life and reduce tolerance of treatment.
"Devastatingly, malnutrition is the cause of one in five deaths in people with cancer."
If someone with breast cancer is unintentionally losing weight, it’s important to make sure they get as much as possible from every mouthful. This means eating higher-calorie foods – which are often associated with being less healthy – such as biscuits, crisps, ice cream and sugary soft drinks.
However, as the booklet explains, there are ways of increasing your calories in a healthier way by choosing, for example, food which is high in healthy fats – like salmon, avocado, seeds and nuts. The booklet also features tips on how to add calories to everyday meals without adding bulk.
Other treatments for breast cancer, such as hormone therapy and steroids, may actually cause weight gain. Being physically active, together with eating a healthy diet, can help you stay a healthy weight, which, in turn, may improve survival chances and reduce the likelihood of cancer returning.
The booklet also contains exclusive recipes – such as salmon with a nut and seed crust, gazpacho and a delicious filling fruit smoothie – which show how to put this advice into practice. Check out the previews below, or order your free copy of World Cancer Research Fund’s Eat Well During Cancer booklet today by completing this short form.