Cancer is just one of those words…it strikes fear and dismay in most who hear of it. The reality is that either us, or someone we know will develop cancer at some time in our lives, this is a devastatingly hard fact to face. If someone is diagnosed with cancer, their thoughts usually turn to prognosis and treatment plans, will they need surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and how will these practices effect their quality of life? It stands to reason then that nutrition isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when one is sadly diagnosed with cancer…but more and more evidence is suggesting that it should be!
Proper nutrition can improve a persons response to treatment as well as minimise their negative side effects. Quality of life and mental stability can also be maintained if nutrition is kept in check. Any treatments a patient undergoes may drastically increase nutritional requirements, particularly protein. If nutrition is inadequate patients are at high risk of losing total weight and lean mass, as well as reduced immune response increasing their risk of infection.
A protein that is rich in protein, complex carbs and vitamins and minerals is optimal, and quite often, there is a place for nutritionally balanced supplements for their concentrated nutritional value.
Stokowski, L, A. (2013). Medscape. Food to fight cancer. Retrieved 28th November, 2013, from http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/814581