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Nutrition - II. Symptoms and Strategies
How will my diet be affected?
Nausea, loss of appetite, and changes in taste perception are common side effects of cancer and its treatment. These symptoms can reduce your enjoyment of food, and may result in decreased nutrition. Diarrhea and constipation also negatively affect your ability to obtain adequate nutrition. Fortunately, most of these side effects can be controlled through medications or changes in your diet.
Good nutrition is an essential part of cancer treatment. Quite simply, well-nourished people are better able to recover from surgery, and may even tolerate higher doses of chemotherapy and radiation. A well-balanced diet also prevents the breakdown of body tissue, helps rebuild the tissue that cancer may harm, and helps maintain the body's immune system.
Remember that diet is one area that you can control fairly easily. You can make changes to your diet at any time to help alleviate nutritionally related symptoms or improve your nutrition. It may be helpful to assess your present diet with a registered dietitian. This can be arranged through your health care provider.
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