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Nutrition therapy for breast cancer

nutrition therapy

What is nutrition therapy?

Many cancer patients experience gastrointestinal symptoms. The Nutrition Therapy team helps restore digestive health, prevent malnutrition and provide dietary recommendations during treatment. Our goal is to help you stay strong and nourished, so you can continue with your cancer treatment.

Every patient is scheduled to meet with a registered dietitian during the first visit to CTCA. During this visit, you are given a full assessment to identify daily goals for calories and protein. Your dietitian will look at your health history, disease type and treatment plan to recommend nourishing foods during your cancer care.

Your dietitian will monitor your nutrition status from the beginning to the end of your cancer treatment, making modifications as needed to minimize side effects and treatment interruptions before they arise.

Your dietitian communicates regularly with your oncologists and the other members of your cancer team. Working together in close proximity allows for a fully integrated approach to treating cancer. Your dietitian is able to share any specific nutrition challenges with other members of your care team, such as your oncologist. Everyone works together to find solutions that meet your individual needs.

We also provide information and classes about healthy eating habits to your caregivers and family members, so you can continue a healthy lifestyle at home.

Nutrition therapy

Video: Breast Cancer Nutrition

Breast Cancer Nutrition

Nutrition therapy for breast cancer

Some people being treated for breast cancer may experience weight loss due to side effects like nausea. However, weight gain is more common in people being treated for breast cancer. This weight gain, in addition to carrying extra body weight, may lead to poor outcomes from treatment. Maintaining bone health is also very important for people being treated for breast cancer. Also, breast cancer and its treatment can bring about metabolic changes that cause or aggravate symptoms of diabetes.

Our cancer nutrition team will work with you to decrease these complications during your breast cancer treatment. Your dietitian will recommend diet modifications based on your breast cancer treatment regime, body weight, micronutrient deficiencies, and nutrition impact symptoms. Your dietitian will also work with you to help you achieve and maintain a healthy body weight during and after treatment. Your dietitian will teach you ways to incorporate aspects of an anti-inflammatory diet and physical activity into your lifestyle.

The following are ways breast cancer nutrition therapy can help during treatment:

  • To help minimize weight gain and move toward a healthy body weight, your dietitian may recommend an anti-inflammatory diet and physical activity. An anti-inflammatory diet is low in animal fat and processed foods while full of vegetables, fruits, and other fiber-rich foods.
  • To combat fatigue, your dietitian may recommend high-protein snacks and small, frequent meals rather than large meals. They may work with you and your care team to help you find ways to stay active to help reduce fatigue.
  • To help make estrogen less harmful, your dietitian may encourage you to eat more cruciferous vegetables (e.g., broccoli, kale, cabbage).
  • To help maintain healthy bones, immune function, and minimize side effects from some treatments, your dietitian may recommend testing your Vitamin D level and taking a supplement if your level is low.

In addition, your dietitian works closely with other members of your care team, including your gastroenterologist and naturopathic clinician. Together, they will recommend supplements and other therapies to support optimal digestion and nutrition, and help you further manage side effects of breast cancer treatment.

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