Maintaining a healthy diet is very important during and after any type of cancer treatment, but this may be difficult due to effects of cancer surgery or side effects from cancer treatments.
Henry Ford Cancer Institute has a registered dietitian that specializes in cancer care who can help you with your nutrition issues during your cancer journey. Our dietitian will help you cope with side effects of cancer treatment such as:
Mouth and throat problems
Constipation and Diarrhea
Change in taste or smell
Nausea and vomiting
Loss of appetite
When should I ask my care team to connect me with a registered dietitian?
I'm having side effects from cancer treatment that are affecting my diet (see above)
I’m having difficulty chewing or swallowing
I'm having a surgery that may require diet or nutritional changes, or a feeding tube
I want to know what supplements are out there that can assist with healing
I'm having trouble maintaining my weight during chemotherapy and/or radiation
What to expect when meeting with a registered dietitian
You will get the most out of your meeting with the dietitian if you come prepared.
Bring in a list of supplements or vitamins you've been taking. It might even be helpful to take a picture of the bottle so your dietitian can tell the exact brand and dosage you're on.
Identify and track any side effects you have been experiencing. Write them down to ensure your dietitian has a full picture of what you're experiencing, and can educate you and your loved ones on ways to cope.
Keep a food diary for a few days before the appointment or at least a list of the most common foods you eat. This can help your dietitian figure out if you're getting enough nutrients, or if what you're currently eating needs to be supplemented or changed.
During your first meeting, the dietitian may conduct a nutrition assessment, which is a lot of questions about what you've been eating, and how you've been feeling. If you've lost weight, he or she may perform a physical assessment, which is examining your body for signs of malnutrition. The dietitian will also give you educational information and materials on your specific type of cancer, side effects you might expect during treatment and recommended diet.
Your dietitian will be available to you throughout your cancer journey. Don't hesitate to reach out with questions, or ask your care team for a referral.
Food As Medicine
Learn more about how good nutrition can improve healing during your cancer treatment.