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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Nutrition therapy for breast cancer

nutrition therapy

Nutrition therapy for breast cancer

Some common ailments breast cancer patients experience include weight loss, weight gain, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea and constipation. Also, breast cancer and its treatment can bring about metabolic changes that cause or aggravate symptoms of diabetes.

Our cancer nutrition team will work with you to decrease these complications during your breast cancer treatment. Your dietitian will recommend diet modifications based on your breast cancer treatment regime, micronutrient deficiencies and nutrition impact symptoms.

The following are ways breast cancer nutrition therapy can help combat the side effects of treatment:

  • If you experience nausea, your dietitian may recommend that you eat more cold foods because they don’t have a strong odor, as well as lower-fat items since fats take longer to digest.
  • If you experience constipation, your dietitian may encourage you to eat fiber-rich foods and increase your fluid intake.
  • To combat fatigue, your dietitian may recommend high-protein snacks and small, frequent meals rather than large meals.
  • To help prevent breast cancer recurrence, your dietitian may encourage you to eat more cruciferous vegetables (e.g., broccoli, kale, cabbage).

In addition, your dietitian works closely with other members of your care team, including your gastroenterologist and naturopathic clinician. Together, they will recommend supplements and other therapies to support optimal digestion and nutrition, and help you further manage side effects of breast cancer treatment.

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.