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Ovarian Cancer Health Center

Starting Chemotherapy: 15 Nutrition Tips

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Staying Comfortable During Chemo

  • Relieve Mouth Sores. Some types of chemotherapy can cause mouth sores, also known as oral mucositis. To encourage healing, avoid spicy foods, alcohol, and hot temperature foods. Keep your mouth moist by drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day. Rinsing your mouth with salt water after meals may also be helpful.  
  • Stay Hydrated. Diarrhea and vomiting combined with low fluid intake can cause dehydration. Signs of dehydration may include a dry or sticky mouth, sunken eyes, low urine output (urine is dark yellow when it is concentrated), and an inability to produce tears. Drinking plenty of water can help you avoid dehydration.
  • Control Nausea. Eating cool foods instead of warm foods, chewing on crystallized ginger, or sipping on peppermint or ginger tea can help discourage nausea. It’s also best to avoid greasy or fried foods and foods with strong odors.
  • Eat Mini-Meals. Eating smaller sized meals tends to be tolerated better during the chemo process than larger, less frequent meals. Eating smaller, more frequent meals will help with nausea as well.
  • Talk to a Dietitian. It may be helpful to meet with a registered dietitian, which is a food and nutrition expert. A dietitian can help you with the specific food and diet issues you are experiencing during cancer treatment.

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