Cancer Treatment Centers of America
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Nutrition therapy for spinal cancer

nutrition therapy

Nutrition therapy for spinal cancer

Some spinal cancer patients experience symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, constipation and fatigue, which can make it difficult to eat. Malnourishment can interfere with your ability to heal by interrupting or delaying treatment.

Your dietitian will work closely with the other members of your care team, including your gastroenterologist and naturopathic clinician, throughout your treatment. Together, they will recommend supplements and other therapies to help rebuild body tissue, decrease the risk of infection, prevent malnutrition and increase your energy and strength.

Managing side effects with nutrition therapy

Throughout your spinal cancer treatment, your care team will work with you to combat various side effects using nutrition therapy:

  • Nausea: We may recommend a low-fat, bland diet of cold foods, ginger products, peppermint or sea bands to combat nausea.
  • Diarrhea: We may suggest a BRAT diet of bananas, white rice, applesauce and toast to help minimize irritation to the digestive tract, and water soluble fiber supplements (e.g., pectin) to help form firmer stool.
  • Constipation: To relieve constipation, our nutrition therapy team may recommend that you increase your fiber intake and stay hydrated, including drinking warm liquids (e.g., prune juice).
  • Fatigue: We may suggest you try small, frequent meals of protein-rich foods, and decrease your sugar intake, to give you more energy. We may also recommend certain iron and folic acid supplements to boost red blood cell count.

What is nutrition therapy?

Many cancer patients experience gastrointestinal symptoms. The Nutrition Therapy team 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 cancer team. Working together in close proximity allows for a fully integrated approach to treating cancer. Your dietitian is able to share any specific nutrition challenges with other members of your care team, such as your oncologist. Everyone works together to find solutions that 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