Nutrition and Cancer

Cancer is uncontrolled cell proliferation. Of nutritional factors that cause it, the wrong choice of food and poor nutrition, physical activity and being overweight are the inability. Types of cancer treated with chemotherapy or radiation treatment, depending on the nutrition problems can develop. These problems;

  •   Cut appetite
  •   Weight gain or weight loss
  •   Mouth or sore throat
  •   Sores in the mouth
  •   Sensitivity to smell or taste change
  •   Nausea and vomiting
  •   Diarrhea and constipation
  •   Drug-nutrient interactions
  •   Sensitivity to allergens in foods
  •   Fluid balance
  •   Changes in the blood findings.

Cancer patients need adequate and balanced nutrition. To do this, the following general recommendations should be observed.Protect your ideal body weight;

  •   Reduced consumption of fat and sugar.
  •   Processed meats (sausages, salami, sausage, ...) and offal should be avoided.
  •   As a method of cooking foods, boiled, steamed or baked cooking methods should be preferred.
  •   Excessive salt consumption should be avoided.
  •   Food storage conditions should be considered.

Persons who receive hospital treatment for cancer, personalized nutrition programs are planned.

Nutrition During Chemotheraphy and Radiation

Prior to treatment the body healthy foods should be strengthened. Plenty of fruit and vegetables should be consumed. During treatment (other than hormonal therapy), many people lose weight. Therefore, body weight before treatment "normal" level, or even slightly above the normal range should be maintained.

Any treatment of cancer there is no precise and constant diet and nutritional guidelines. One of the methods of treatment applied or administered immediately after the doctors or dietician’s advice should be asked about nutrition.

It should be noted that some patients could continue to eat a normal meal. However, some patients do not want to eat, and nothing is cut appetite. Some people may want to eat but can not eat and feels hunger. To eat or not to eat foods with a request to make it look better or worse, may vary according to the different treatment methods. Treatment can take days or weeks. The response to treatment may vary depending on the body.

Recommendations regarding nutrition during treatment:

  • Try to eat five staple food groups every day.
  1. Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, peas, lentils, dried legumes, like beans. 2 days per week of fish, the second day of red meat, chicken two days, one day chick peas, dry beans, dry beans such as lentils recommend you to consume.
  2. Vegetables
  3. Fruits (except grapefruit)
  4. Cereals, breads, rice, pasta
  5. Yogurt, buttermilk, cheese, milk and milk products
  • Take the time you can eat foods that contain adequate protein and calories. These powers to protect the body's tissues can be damaged due to the deterioration of tissues, prevention, and treatment will help to regenerate.

  • Give importance to breakfast in the morning. Despite the lack of appetite in the morning with breakfast food consumption is usually better than neccesary. In order to assess this, and freshly squeezed fruit juices, eggs, cheese, honey, molasses, bread eats.

  • If you feel unwell, and only one or two things you want to eat them until you are able to eat other foods to eat.Liquid foods and try to get additional calories and protein.

  • Take care that you can not drink plenty of water the days of chemotherapy. (2-2.5 liters per day).

  • Water, is very important for your body to function properly. Drink enough fluids, the fluid will ensure that your body needs. Many adults need 6-8 glasses of water a day. Keep a water bottle with you during the day. This can help you gain the habit of drinking a lot of water.

  • If you don’t want to drink water, drink whatever you want.

  • Do not feel very worried when you are anorexic. Make it what you can do to feel better about yourself. Start as soon as they could eat dinner, tell your doctor if it does not improve in two days anorexia is a problem.

  • Do not eat grapefruit during chemotherapy treatment, do not drink grapefruit juice. Stay away from overly salty and not overly sugary foods.

CUT Appetite

Appetite interception or decreased appetite, the most common problem encountered during the treatment. In fact, cancer cells secrete a substance that the body convinced that hungry. Normal eating is to eat all the attention, but suddenly weakened or lost, and began to lose weight; the fact that a person suspected patients is common. However, fear or depression that they may cause the loss of the person's appetite. During the treatment of nausea, vomiting, side effects such as food smells or tastes different feeling, the patient can cut appetite. Appetite or treatment interruption may last for only a few days may continue even after the end of treatment.

If you are running low on your appetite,

  • Even if you don’t feel hungry  you should force yourself to eat.

  • You should eat small amounts frequently.  So its easier to get more nutrients.

  • Keep foods at hand in haste, so that you can easily reach craving to eat anything at any time. Cheese and crackers, fruit, yogurt, pudding, among others. When going out of biscuits, crackers, foods such as raisins or advice.

  • High calorie foods that contain good quality protein (eggs, meat, yogurt, cheese, dried beans, peas, lentils, dry beans, such as pinto beans, brown bread) are optional.

  • Sometimes I change the way food makes them more appetizing. For example, you are experiencing problems with eating fresh, whole fruits, fruit compote, mashed potatoes, and stewed fruit as you can eat. Milk sweets with crushed walnuts, hazelnuts add energy and protein value, but does not change the volume increases. Milk and / or eat yogurt by adding honey, molasses.

  • Ice cream, yogurt, and try to eat cold food, such as milk-based desserts.

  • Food Make the time in the quiet and beautiful as possible. Foods you eat can help you prepare, in an attractive manner.

  • Regular exercises can appetite. Find out whether to make exercise, talk to your doctor.

  • Drink very little during the meal because it gives a feeling of saturation. Then be fed solid foods before the liquid.

Oral or Neck Pain

Pity the mouth, gums and throat pain sensitivity is often caused by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Nevertheless, you should try to eat. However, salty, sour, hard and dry foods will be difficult to chew and swallow. Therefore, choose a soft, nutritious foods. For example, yogurt, bananas, mashed potatoes, soups, pasta, vegetable puree, orchid, ripe fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, overcooked meat, applesauce, soft cheese, pasta, custard, rice pudding you can eat.

Foods such as baby food (soft, warm or at room temperature, and the liquid into small pieces) to prepare, and sometimes even better for babies to consume prepared vegetables and fruit jellies. For those who have mouth or throat, excellent foods and baby foods are usually very nutritious. Baby food is also tempered with many vitamins and minerals.

If you are having problems with painful mouth,

  • Rinse the mouth before and after meals various cleaning agents.

  • Warm, spicy, acidic foods, raw fruits and vegetables, avoid salty foods.

  • If you have have difficulty chewing, aqueous, semi-aqueous, or in the form of all kinds of foods you should consume is blenderize dinner.

Change of Smell or Taste

During treatment, your sense of taste and smell perception may change. Food, especially meat and other high protein foods start to taste bitter or metallic. Tatsızlaşır many reduced or taste of food. These changes are due to chemotherapy or radiation therapy of the disease itself or can be. Dental problems lead to a change in the taste and smell. These changes usually returns to normal after completion of treatment.

If you have changed your sense of taste,

  • Make your shopping for yourself, choose and prepare foods eye pleasing and fragrant.

  • Meat preference by yourself. Sauces, fruit juices, or that you like the taste of meat, increase deposit.

  • To change the taste and smell of the dishes, basil, mint, thyme, aromatic herbs and spices such as rosemary, use your meals, add onions or garlic.

  • Try to eat citrus flavored custard and desserts.

  • Consume foods cold or at room building opposite.

  • View and consume foods of different colors.

  • Food odors or foul-smelling foods should be avoided.

Nausea and Vomiting

A common side effect of many of the treatment of nausea. Nausea; during treatment, immediately after treatment, or several days later. Typically one or two weeks after treatment is completed passes. There are some medications that can control nausea. Consult your doctor to get these drugs.

May be associated with nausea and vomiting occur due to some cancer treatments. Without nausea and vomiting may also occur.

If you have nausea and vomiting,

  • Eat foods that relieve stomach. For example, toast, crackers, cereal, bagels, pasta, lean stutters or desserts, baked or boiled skinless boiled chicken, feta cheese, dry foods such as dried fruits you should eat.

  • Nauseous when fatty foods, fried, spicy or hot foods, Avoid heavily scented foods.

  • You shouldn’t lie after eating.

  • Gradually and slowly eat your meals.

  • Liquid at room temperature for consumption between meals, eat slowly and must sip.

  • Eat or feel hunger between meals.

  • Eat foods that appealed to you.

  • Do not eat foods you love them doing nausea.

  • If nauseate when you wake up in the morning, before getting out of bed will eat crackers or toast.

  • Do not eat or drink anything moving vomiting. Vomiting is under control, and then slowly tries to eat light foods. Nausea and vomiting begin past the normal diet

  • Wear comfortable clothes.


During therapy, especially chemotherapy and lower region of the body, stomach and intestines during radiotherapy diarrhea are common. Also infections, sensitivity to foods (due to medications can occur), and emotional problems can cause diarrhea.

Foods during diarrhea in the vitamins, minerals and water emilemeden quickly into the bloodstream through the large intestine and is ejected. This situation is caused by lack of vitamins and minerals, as well as the body of water leads to a reduction of water loss.

If you have diarrhea,

  • Bowel activity will increase the consumption of high sugar and fat consume low-fat low-sugar foods.

  • You should eat small amounts frequently.

  • Plenty of water to replace the fluids you lose you should consume at room temperature.

  • Eat cooked vegetables and fruits.

  • Fat-free rice, pasta, lean toast, skim milk, nonfat yogurt, peeled apples you can eat.

  • Skinless chicken or turkey, low-fat beef or fish, you can eat egg whites and yolks cooked in water until it hardens.

  • Meat juice, banana, peach, baked potatoes, cooked carrots to consume foods that contain a high percentage of sodium and potassium.

  • Gas-forming foods, cabbage and cauliflower, dried beans, bitter and spicy foods remove your diet.

  • Fatty foods, fried foods, raw vegetables, nuts, peanuts, walnuts, dried fruits and the like do not eat the core.

  • Apricots, pears, plums, do not eat fruits like.

  • Raises its ishalinizi not eat milk and dairy foods.

  • Coffee, black tea, cocoa, do not eat.

  • Don’t eat or drink hot.

If you have gas and a swollen belly,

  • The gasifier, raw vegetables and fruits, whole foods, onions, radishes, cabbage, dried beans, do not eat cauliflower.

  • Air swallowing chewing slowly eat good meals.

  • Be fed little by little and often.


Some drugs can make constipation. Generally painkillers lead to constipation. Do not contain enough fiber or a liquid or high-fat diet can create problems of the same.

If you have constipation,

  • Posalı diet foods, raw fruits and vegetables, whole wheat bread, add dry beans.

  • Take a lot of food for all types of liquids. You should drink 10 glasses of water a day.

  • Warm drinks instead. Linden tea drink.

  • Apricot or prune juice or compote, constipations help to remove the short-term.

  • Consult your doctor to do light exercise every day.

Nutrition After Treatment

Due to cancer treatments (particularly chemotherapy and radiotherapy), many of the side effects will go away after treatment is completed. At the end of treatment the patient will begin to feel better and better itself, nothing to eat foods and gradually return to normal. Sometimes some of the side effects may continue. Eat a wide variety of different foods, and after treatment, no food alone does not meet the nutrients that your body needs. Eat plenty of vegetables, both raw and cooked.

Especially vegetables, beans, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, carrots, broccoli and green leafy vegetables in abundance Eat all kinds. Prepared meals with plenty of onion, garlic, parsley, mint, dill, basil, aromatic plants, such as Place. Eat plenty of fruit. Fruit juice drink. Ayırılmamış bran bread and cereals provide the weight and substance.

Fatty foods, sugary foods, pickles, smoked foods to decrease it. Opt for low-fat milk and its products. Preparing food, grill, steam, boiler, baking, such as Teflon frying pan or saucepan, saute method, use low-fat cooking methods. Lean meat, skinless chicken, skinless turkey and fish to eat. Drink 10 glasses of water each day, and other beverages.


  1. Nutrition and Cancer, Ed. M. Winick, Inter Science Pub. New York, Chichester, Brisbone, Toronto, 2000.
  2. Diyet el kitabı, Ayşe Baysal ve ark. Hatiboğlu yayınevi, Ankara, 2002.
  3. Kanseri Tanıyalım, Ayşe Baysal ve Wayne Criss, Hatiboğlu yayınevi, Ankara, 2002.
  4. Eating hints for cancer patients before, during & after treatment, National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institutes, 1999.

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The information on this website is not intended to replace any medical advice given by physicians with access to your detailed medical history.