Your diet is an important part of your treatment for cancer. Eating the right kinds of foods during your treatment can help you feel better and stay stronger.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has prepared this guide to help you learn more about your diet needs and how to manage eating problems. Eating well is extra important when your body is fighting disease.
This guide is mainly for patients who are still receiving cancer treatment. However, it also may be useful after you finish treatment. Refer to it any time you find that eating well is a challenge.
You may not want to read all this information at one sitting. Browse through it to see which information is useful to you now. Refer to other material as needed.
Your registered dietitian, doctor, and nurse are your best sources of information about your diet. The information in here will add to their advice. Feel free to ask for their help and talk with them about changes in your diet. Ask them to explain or repeat anything that is not clear.
In the Resources section of the guide you will find information about other free NCI publications about cancer, its treatment, and coping with the illness. We also have listed the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the NCI-supported Cancer Information Service (CIS) (1-800-4-CANCER).
The CIS provides information about cancer, cancer treatment, research studies, and living with cancer to patients, their families, health professionals, and the public.
The Glossary, lists and defines words that relate to diet, nutrition, and other aspects of cancer care. Click on highlighted words throughout the guide to go to the Glossary. Information on Recipes for Better Nutrition During Cancer Treatment, was written to help you solve some of the nutritional problems you may have during your treatment. Many of these recipes are from patients and family members who wanted to share their tips for better eating.
- What Kinds of Food Do I Need?
- Figure 1. Eat a Variety of Foods Each Day
- Sample Menu for Good Nutrition
- Can Good Nutrition Treat Cancer?
- Figure 2. How Cancer Treatments Can Affect Eating
- Coping With Side Effects
- Loss of Appetite
- Sore Mouth or Throat
- Changed Sense of Taste or Smell
- Dry Mouth
- Weight Gain
- Tooth Decay
- Lactose Intolerance
- Saving Time and Energy
- Improving Your Nutrition
- Table 1. Snacks
- Table 2. How To Increase Protein
- Table 3. How To Increase Calories
- Clear-Liquid Diet
- Full-Liquid Diet
- Fiber-Restricted Diet
- Low-Lactose Diet
- Commercial Products To Improve Nutrition