Nutrition therapy for pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer affects the body’s ability to digest and absorb vital nutrients from food. This may cause nausea, taste changes, weight loss, fatigue, decreased appetite, fullness, pain, gas, diarrhea and constipation. Over time, these symptoms may put patients at risk for malnutrition.
Our nutrition therapy team is available to work with you to help you stay strong and nourished so your pancreatic cancer treatment is not delayed or interrupted. Your personalized nutrition therapy goals may include preventing or reversing poor nutrition, managing nutrition-related symptoms, and maintaining or improving weight and strength.
If you experience discomfort or indigestion when you eat, our registered dietitians may recommend pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy to assist with proper digestion. If you are having trouble eating and digesting food, we may suggest an individualized plan for alternative nutrition support.
Pancreatic cancer patients are also at risk for diabetes and glucose intolerance. To decrease the risk of complications from diabetes, our dietitians are available to assist you in managing blood sugar levels throughout your care.
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 the other members of the patient's cancer team. Working together in close proximity allows for a fully integrated approach to treating cancer. Your dietitian is able to 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.