Cancer Nutrition

dietician giving grocery store tourMaintaining 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 dietician that specializes in cancer care who can help you with your nutrition issues during your cancer journey. Our dietician will help you cope with side effects of cancer treatment such as:

  • Mouth and throat problems
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation and Diarrhea
  • Change in taste or smell
  • Tube feeding
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite

When should I ask my care team to connect me with a registered dietician? 

  • 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 dietician

Hill Sue
Susan Hill, MAPS, CSO, RD - Registered dietician
You will get the most out of your meeting with the dietician 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 dietician 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 dietician 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 dietician 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 dietician 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 dietician 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 dietician will be available to you throughout your cancer journey. Don't hesitate to reach out with questions at (313) 790-4515 or shill1@hfhs.org.

Food As Medicine

Learn more about how good nutrition can improve healing during your cancer treatment.

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