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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Nutritional support

Good nutrition is important—especially if you have cancer. Treatment for cancer, and cancer itself, can affect your appetite and how the body digests, absorbs and uses food. Cancer-related malnutrition can make you tired, weak and unable to receive the treatments you need to get better.

From your first visit to Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) and throughout your care, our nutrition and metabolic support team will recommend nutrition interventions, including nourishing meal plans and dietary supplementation, to keep you strong, combat side effects and prevent treatment interruptions before they arise.

Learn more about nutrition therapy

nutritional support

Managing side effects with nutrition

Cancer treatment can affect the heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, bladder and nervous system in different ways, causing a variety of side effects that can interfere with your treatment regimen. Your dietitian may use various nutrition interventions to combat the side effects of cancer treatment, such as:

  • Weight loss: We will monitor you closely to ensure you are maintaining a healthy weight, since weight loss can delay or interrupt your treatment.
  • Fatigue: We may recommend small, frequent meals and nutrient-dense foods to give you more energy.
  • Nausea: We may recommend a low-fat, bland diet of cold foods, ginger products, peppermint or sea bands to combat nausea.
  • Constipation: We may recommend you increase your fiber intake and stay hydrated, including drinking warm liquids (e.g., prune juice), to relieve constipation.
  • 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.
  • Anemia: We may recommend iron and folic acid supplements to boost your red blood cell count.
  • Low blood counts: We may recommend a well-balanced, protein-rich diet to help your blood counts return to a safe level.

See our nutrition tips for managing some cancer-related side effects.

NOTE: This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to making decisions about your treatment.