Many cancer patients experience gastrointestinal symptoms. The Nutrition and Metabolic Support Department at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) 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 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 find solutions that 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 information 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 Midwestern
Vice President of Integrative Medicine Carolyn Lammersfeld leads the nutrition and metabolic support team at CTCA at Midwestern Regional Medical Center (Midwestern). The team includes registered and licensed clinical oncology dietitians, as well as gastroenterologist Dr. Pankaj Vashi.
The team has significant experience in prevention and intervention of such cancer-related weight loss and malnutrition. “Approximately one-third to half of the patients we see at CTCA come to our hospitals severely malnourished because they have either lost a lot of weight and then discovered what was wrong with them [they were diagnosed with cancer], or they have been treated at another facility where their care providers were not paying attention to their weight loss and nutrition issues,” says Lammersfeld. “At CTCA, we are proactive. We are determined to address weight loss due to cancer or cancer treatment.”
In addition to meeting with each other 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.