Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Diet and Nutrition

Find out how diet and nutrition may influence cancer and its treatment, and how a healthy combination of nutrients may help reduce certain risk factors.

Nutrition may not help the immune system fight cancer, but it is still important


September blog

Cancer patients often take a hit to the immune system, typically because treatments used to fight the disease may deplete the white blood cells that help ward off infection, impairing the body’s ability to protect itself. Some patients believe that changing their diet—say, by swapping out their daily bag of chips for an apple—will strengthen their immune system and help it battle cancer. But they’re only partly correct.

One way to lower your cancer risk: Cut the extra sugars


blog sugar

The grapefruit diet. Atkins. South Beach. Low-fat. Low-carb. High-protein. It seems like there’s a fad diet for every taste bud out there. While the cornucopia of weight-loss plans varies widely on what you should and shouldn’t eat to lose weight, there’s one ingredient just about all of them agree should be cut: added sugars. That’s because excess sugars are not just empty calories; they also contribute to weight gain, which may in turn lead to obesity.

Post-treatment weight gain: Yes, it happens, all too often



After you complete cancer treatment, you may be surprised to find that the numbers are creeping up on the scale. It happens perhaps more than you think. All too often after treatment, cancer patients slip back into unhealthy habits, especially when it comes to eating.

Fatigue: A common complaint among cancer patients



When you’re healthy and having trouble keeping your eyes open in a mid-afternoon meeting, getting an extra hour or two of sleep may be all it takes to renew your energy. When you have cancer, though, rest often isn’t enough. Even after a few nights of extra sleep, many cancer patients still feel tired and unable to complete normal, everyday activities.

Colorectal cancer rates rising sharply in younger people


Colorectal cancer Rod Echols

Cancer—especially colon cancer—is a disease normally associated with older people. But a recent study, published last month in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, found a surprising trend: a sharp rise in colorectal cancers in adults as young as 20- and 30-something. Compared to people born around 1950 and earlier, millennials and Generation Xers have double the incidence rates of colon cancer and quadruple the rate of rectal cancer, according to the new findings.

Eating lots of grilled meats may affect the chances of surviving breast cancer, study suggests


Grilled Meat

The sound of meat or poultry as it sizzles on the grill may make your mouth water. The rich, smoky aroma overwhelms your senses as you await that flavorful first bite. While eating meat fresh off the grill may sound delicious, a recent study suggests breast cancer survivors may want to avoid large amounts of grilled, barbecued or smoked meats because of the potential health risks.

Treating malnutrition starts by identifying its cause, and taking it seriously



For many cancer patients, malnutrition is the guest they didn’t expect, or want. It may show up shortly after you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, if nausea or vomiting prevents you from eating well, or if the disease disrupts how you digest or metabolize food. Or it may creep in during treatment. It may affect you even if you appear to be eating plenty of calories and protein but, because of your cancer, are unable to maintain enough fat stores and muscle mass.