Eating Well During Cancer Treatment - Topic Overview
Eating well when you have cancer means eating enough to prevent
weight loss and keep your strength up. You may feel better and have more energy
if you eat the right kinds of food before, during, and after your
You may find it hard to eat during treatment for cancer
You may have a poor appetite.
have problems with side effects of treatment, such as nausea, vomiting, or
Foods may taste different.
You may not
feel like eating when you are uncomfortable or tired.
Some people continue to enjoy food throughout most of their cancer
treatment. Others may have days when they don't feel like eating at all. Even
the thought of food may make them feel sick. Here are some things to keep in
Eat food that has protein and extra calories to
help maintain your strength and prevent weight loss. Try a liquid meal
replacement for extra calories and protein. Milk shakes are good
Your appetite may be better early in the day. Try having
your main meal of the day early. Or you may find it easier to eat smaller meals more often, instead of three large meals. You may feel more like eating if you do not
cook your own foods.
Drink plenty of fluids, especially when you
don't feel like eating. Water is good but lacks calories and electrolytes.
Carry a water bottle with you during the day. You can fill it with an energy
drink, such as Gatorade or Powerade, which has calories and electrolytes. That
may help you get into the habit of drinking plenty of fluids.
worry too much if you have a day where you cannot eat at all. Do what you can
to make yourself feel better and start eating as soon as you feel better. Be
sure to tell your doctor if you still can't eat after 1 or 2 days.