Cancer Patients Take Control Through Good Nutrition
Cancer and its treatment make it challenging for patients to get the necessary amounts of calories, protein and nutrients they need to help maintain a strong nutritional status. Because of this, patients often lose significant amounts of lean muscle mass and weight because they don't have an appetite, feel nauseous or have a strong aversion to foods. These symptoms can lead to clinical malnutrition, which may be found in 45 to 80 percent of cancer patients, and contribute to a weakened immune system and associated higher risk of infection.
Nestle HealthCare Nutrition is emphasizing the importance of nutrition by offering cancer patients resources to help them stay strong during treatment. A new online resource center, www.nutrition4strength.com , has been developed to serve as a tool for patients and caregivers to find answers to their questions surrounding proper nutrition and the products that can help before, during and after treatment.
"Getting the right nutrition is vital during cancer treatment," says Mary Miranowski, registered dietitian, Nestle HealthCare Nutrition. "Whether you're preparing for surgery or going through chemo or radiation therapy, there has never been a more important time to make sure your body is getting the nutrition it needs to defend against infections, help fight fatigue and maintain lean muscle mass as part of maintaining a healthy weight."
Patients who maintain a healthy weight by receiving the needed protein and calories may feel better, maintain energy and recover more quickly. Clinical studies have demonstrated that nutritional intervention results in improved quality of life and higher completion rate of therapy (3,4,5). Various caregivers and patients have provided feedback on the benefits of supplementing the diet with BENECALORIE Low-Volume, Calorically Dense Supplement, attesting that without a specialized product like this, improvement in nutritional status and weight gain would have been difficult.
Some helpful guidelines for maintaining a strong nutritional status during cancer treatment include:
-- Eat small, frequent meals or snacks (every one or two hours)
-- Eat foods high in protein and low in fat to avoid early satiety
-- Try including higher calorie fruits and vegetables, like corn, peas, bananas, cherries, mangoes, lima beans and sweet potatoes
-- Use nutritional supplements like BENECALORIE or BENEPROTEIN to enhance the nutritional value of preferred foods