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Nutrition in Cancer Care (PDQ®): Supportive care - Patient Information [NCI] - Nutrition and Lifestyle in Cancer Survivors

Cancer survivors have special nutrition needs.

Everyone needs a healthy diet and exercise for good health and to help prevent disease. Cancer survivors have special health needs, especially because of the risks of late effects and the cancer coming back. Studies have shown that a healthy diet helps to prevent late effects such as obesity, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome. Researchers are also studying whether certain diet and exercise habits in cancer survivors can keep cancer from coming back or keep new cancers from forming.

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Overview

Milk thistle is a plant whose fruit and seeds are used to make remedies for liver and bile duct ailments (see Question 1). The active ingredient found in milk thistle is silymarin, an antioxidant that, among other things, protects against cell damage and stimulates repair of liver tissue (see Question 1 and Question 5). Milk thistle has been studied in laboratory cell lines and animal tumors for its potential to make chemotherapy less toxic and more effective, and to slow the growth of...

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Healthy diet and lifestyle habits can improve the quality of life for cancer survivors.

Surveys show that many cancer survivors do not follow cancer prevention guidelines and have lifestyle behaviors that may increase their risk for late effects or make late effects worse. Education programs can help cancer survivors learn how to make behavior changes that keep them healthier. Programs that cover diet, exercise, and stress management are more likely to help cancer survivors make lasting changes.

The effects of diet and lifestyle on cancer continue to be studied.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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