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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Nutrition therapy for brain cancer

nutrition therapy

Nutrition therapy for brain cancer

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

Our registered dietitians are available to work with you and other members of your care team, including your gastroenterologist and naturopathic clinician, throughout your treatment. Together, they may recommend dietary changes, supplements and other therapies to help prevent malnutrition and increase your energy and strength.

Managing side effects with nutrition therapy

Throughout your brain cancer treatment, your care team will work with you to combat various side effects such as:

  • 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 reduce 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. 

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