Nutritional Requirements of Cancer Patients

Things to keep in mind regarding your diet during cancer treatment


People with cancer need to maintain a healthy body weight and eat nutritious foods. Sometimes, side effects of treatment can cause a person to eat less and lose weight.


Cancer treatment often causes side effects, such as diarrhea, nausea, mouth sores, and taste changes. Follow these tips to get the nutrition you need.


Energy Requirements

During treatment, a person with normal nutritional status experience 110-130% increase of energy requirement, 130-150% if malnourished.


Consult a dietician to know your daily energy requirement and the best foods to get the daily dose of nutrients.


Protein-rich diet

Our body needs protein for growth, repair body tissue and improve immunity. Cancer patients need protein after surgery, chemotherapy to heal tissues and fight infection.


Vitamins and Minerals

Needs for vitamins and minerals are highly variable, depending on type of therapy and severity of complications like vomiting and malabsorption. All individuals need to be monitored for deficiencies.


Generally, it is sensible to recommend multivitamin or mineral supplement to cancer patients, but excessive use could be harmful.


Antioxidant-rich Diet

Antioxidants keep free radicals from attacking normal cells. Taking antioxidant supplements while getting a chemo is not recommended. So, include them in your diet.


Cancer weakens the immune system which might result in infection. Watch out for techniques to avoid infection caused after radiation treatment.