Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Nutrition therapy for esophageal cancer

nutrition therapy

Nutrition therapy for esophageal cancer

Radiation therapy is a common treatment for esophageal cancer. At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), we strive to be proactive about side effect management, by preventing and planning for issues before they arise. One side effect of radiation therapy is difficulty swallowing. A feeding tube may be placed before radiation therapy begins, to help you maintain good nutrition throughout treatment. The feeding tube is removed once treatment is finished and you can swallow comfortably.

When cancer affects the digestive tract, the types of food patients can eat or the quantity of food tolerated at one time may need to be modified. Your registered dietitian may help you choose which foods to include to meet your specific needs.

What is nutrition therapy?

Many cancer patients experience gastrointestinal symptoms. The nutrition therapy team works with our 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 of meeting with a registered dietitian. During this visit, one of our dietitians will give you a comprehensive nutritional assessment to identify daily goals for calories and protein. The dietitian will look at your health history, disease type and treatment plan to recommend nourishing foods during your cancer care.

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

Our dietitians communicate regularly with the oncologists and other members of the patient's cancer team. Working together in a team environment, all under one roof, allows for an integrated approach to treating cancer. Your dietitian may alert other members of your care team, such as your medical oncologist, to specific nutrition challenges you may be experiencing. Everyone works together to identify solutions designed to 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