Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Guest Post: Impact of Healthy Nutrition During and After Cancer Treatments by Jillian McKee

Today I have a guest post from reader Jillian who reached out to me recently to ask if I would share some information with you on the Impact of Healthy Nutrition During and After Cancer TreatmentsHaving had to deal with health problems myself, I understand the importance that good nutrition plays in maintaining one's overall health so I was glad to do it. Watching close friends and family members deal with cancer was the driving force that inspired Jillian to put forth the effort in spreading awareness. So without further ado, here is Jillian's write-up in her own words.

"The battle against cancer requires active participation from the patient in areas that they can control. Facing mesothelioma cancer, colon cancer or another cancer starts with finding different ways to improve quality of life during and after the treatment. Healthy nutrition plays a role in the ability to maintain an active lifestyle with cancer.

Those who are diagnosed with cancer need to understand the possible changes to nutritional needs that accompany the illness. Cancer and its treatments can impact nutrition by causing changes in the body.

According to the American Cancer Society, cancer treatment can cause sore throat, constipation, poor nutrient absorption, reduced appetite, vomiting and changes to the way foods taste. The problem that results from physical discomfort or the body not properly absorbing nutrients is the risk of nutrient deficiencies.

The body changes during cancer treatments because of medications and treatments that help fight the disease. Many treatments are harsh and will change appetite or the body’s use of nutrients. As a result, patients need to take measures to prevent the possibility of facing any deficiencies. The easiest way to avoid problems is by eating enough food each day. That might mean eating certain foods to gain nutrients. Doctors should help patients in order to ensure the body obtains enough nutrition to continue fighting cancer.

Understanding key benefits will make it easier to start implementing dietary changes based on personal needs and the situation. Cancer patients who eat a nutritious diet will maintain a healthy body weight, have healthy body tissues, and are able to fight infection. A patient’s chance of recovery and quality of life is better for those who eat a well-balanced, healthy diet during and after treatment. Cancer treatments are often harsh and the side effects can be difficult to overcome, but a nutritious diet plan and help when trying to manage side effects.

The benefits of eating a healthy diet are clear when related to cancer. The problem is that many individuals are not sure how to apply the eating habits, particularly when the cancer changes the body or when challenges from treatment make it hard to eat.

Incorporating nutrition therapy into the treatment plan can help patients who were diagnosed with cancer, undergoing treatment, or are in remission. By working with a dietician, it is easier to work through any potential problems.

Depending on the type of cancer, the challenges will vary. Some cancers result in changes to appetite while others will alter the way the body absorbs food. A physician will help determine the challenges and how to use nutrition to fix them. By working out a nutrition plan, the likelihood of recovery is increased." 

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