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Good nutrition is important—especially if you have cancer. Cancer itself, and cancer treatment, can affect the appetite and how the body digests, absorbs and uses food. When the body is depleted of essential nutrients, it becomes malnourished.
Approximately 65 to 70 percent of oncology patients suffer from malnutrition. Cancer-related malnutrition can make you tired, weak and unable to receive the treatments you need to get better.
Cancer and its treatment can cause the following side effects, which make it difficult to stay nourished:
Even if you’re able to eat, some cancers (such as those affecting the digestive tract) interfere with the body’s ability to digest, absorb or properly metabolize nutrients from food. When your body doesn’t get essential nutrients, malnutrition occurs.
Malnutrition can hamper your ability to heal and recover from cancer in significant ways. Studies show that well-nourished patients can tolerate treatment better with fewer complications and recuperate faster after treatment, while patients who are malnourished experience more treatment delays or interruptions and longer hospital stays.
Nutrition and metabolic support during cancer care can keep you strong and provide the nutrients your body needs to tolerate and recover from treatment. The stronger the body, the faster it can heal.
Specifically, good nutrition during cancer treatment can provide the following benefits:
Nutrition and metabolic support can keep you strong and nourished before, during and after cancer treatment.
Based on your individual situation, your health care team may suggest any of the following to help you get the nutrients you need:
NOTE: THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTHCARE PROVIDER REGARDING NUTRITION AND METABOLIC SUPPORT DURING CANCER CARE.
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