Thyroid Cancer Nutrition Therapy
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Nutrition Therapy for Thyroid Cancer
While you are fighting cancer, nutrition is critical. At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), we believe that optimal nutrition is fundamental to keeping you strong so you can aggressively fight your thyroid cancer.
While you are undergoing thyroid cancer treatment, it is important to eat foods that provide optimal nutritional benefit. Following a healthy diet can help you to manage side effects associated with your treatment, maintain your quality of life and keep you strong to fight your cancer.
At CTCA, our licensed and registered dietitians will work with you every step of the way to develop an individualized plan designed to help you obtain optimal nutrition throughout your treatment. Your dietitian can also provide you with education, supplementation and support along the way.
Managing Side Effects with Nutrition Therapy
Each of the therapies you may receive during your treatment for thyroid cancer can cause different side effects.
Radioactive iodine treatment may change the way foods taste. Chemotherapy may cause your stomach to be upset, or reduce your appetite. Fatigue is a common side effect of many treatments, or of the cancer itself.
The nutrition therapy team at CTCA will work with you to decrease these complications. Your dietitian will perform a comprehensive nutrition assessment, and recommend diet modifications based on your treatment regimen, micronutrient deficiencies and nutrition impact symptoms.
The following are ways nutrition therapy can help combat side effects of treatments for thyroid cancer:
- Nausea: To combat nausea, your dietitian may recommend that you eat more cold foods because they don’t have a strong odor, as well as items lower in fat, since fats take longer to digest.
- Constipation: Your dietitian may encourage you to eat fiber-rich foods and increase your fluid intake.
- Diarrhea: Avoiding spicy, greasy, high- fiber, dairy and gas-producing foods may help if you have diarrhea. Your dietician may also suggest pectin smoothies.
- Fatigue: High-protein snacks and eating small, frequent meals rather than large meals may help you to combat fatigue.
- Dry Mouth: Your cancer nutrition expert may recommend chewing gum, or sucking on hard candies.
Your dietician will also monitor your nutrition status closely to prevent malnutrition related to your thyroid cancer treatment. They may prescribe supplements and appetite stimulants, and suggest eating more frequent, high-calorie meals or drinking oral supplements.
A Team-Based Approach for Thyroid Cancer Treatment
Your dietitian will work with your oncologists and the other members of your care team to make sure your nutrition therapy plan supports your other treatments. Our Patient Empowered Care® clinic brings your medical oncologist, clinic nurse, registered dietitian, naturopathic clinician and nurse care manager to you. With this approach, you enjoy greater comfort, convenience and privacy by meeting with your care team in one room.
Working together in close proximity allows for a fully integrated approach to treating thyroid cancer. Your dietitian is able to share any specific nutrition challenges with other members of your care team. Everyone works together to find solutions that meet your individual needs.
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