Many cancer patients experience gastrointestinal symptoms. The Nutrition and Metabolic Support Department at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) works with patients to help 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 has the option 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 reduce side effects and treatment interruptions before they arise.
Your dietitian will communicate regularly with your oncologists and the other members of your team about your specific nutrition challenges. Working together in close proximity allows for a fully integrated approach to treating cancer, enabling our doctors and clinicians to strategize solutions designed to meet your individual needs.
Throughout your treatment, we'll help you find foods your body can tolerate, and recommend nourishing meal plans and dietary supplementation. We'll also provide pamphlets, recipes and classes about healthy eating habits to your caregivers and family members, so you can continue a healthy lifestyle at home.
The nutrition team at Eastern
The nutrition and metabolic support team at CTCA at Eastern Regional Medical Center includes registered and licensed oncology dietitians.The entire nutrition team is trained to focus on the impact of nutrition on your cancer care.
In addition to meeting with one another each day to discuss your care, the nutrition team collaborates regularly with your oncologist and the other members of your care team. Since all clinical departments are located under one roof, everyone is in close proximity to one another. This accessibility allows your care team to share knowledge and resources regarding your care. During off-hours, the nutrition team is on-call for clinicians.
The nutrition team also participates in “comfort rounds” two times a week for inpatients. During these visits, dietitians join with other clinicians and support staff to discuss patients' physical, emotional, spiritual, financial or other concerns.
Additionally, three times a week, the nutrition team attends "endorsement" meetings with all the clinical disciplines. During these meetings, your dietitian is able to share any specific nutrition challenges that may be related to other aspects of your care.
For example, in this meeting, your dietitian may mention to your medical oncologist that you are having difficulty eating due to nausea related to the chemotherapy treatments. In sharing this information, they may agree to add an additional medication for nausea for better symptom control.