Tuesday, October 14, 2008

FIGHT AGAINST CANCER---1

Role of nutrition

Nutrition plays an important role in many aspects of cancer treatment. Good nutrition is very essential for people undergoing cancer treatments. This is because the disease itself and its treatment modalities may affect the patient’s general health. Poor health and weight loss has been identified as an indicator of poor prognosis.
The malnourished cancer patient responds poorly to therapeutic interventions, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy with increased morbidity and mortality compared with well-nourished patients. Malnutrition can adversely affect severity of the side effects of treatment given, increases the risk of infections and ultimately reduces the chances of survival. Good nutritional care can help cancer patients in maintaining weight and improving quality of life.
The common side effects of various treatment modalities are—
• Weight loss
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Altered perception of taste and smell
• Sore throat & thick saliva
• Muscovites
• Loss of appetite
• Constipation / Diarrhea
• Stiffness of Jaw
• Dry Skin Reaction
• Fatigue or Feeling Tired & Anemia
• Depression, sadness, fear and anxiety
Good nutritional care can help cancer patients in maintaining weight and improving quality of life. Malnutrition can adversely affect severity of the side effects of treatment given, increases the risk of infections and ultimately reduces the chances of survival.
Many studies and clinical trials have been done to see the role of good nutrition with food supplements in reducing the complications produced during and after the treatment and improving the overall survival of cancer patients. These studies have suggested that eating well and taking proper supplementations while undergoing cancer therapy can help cancer patients to--
• Feel better
• Keep up the body strength and energy
• Keep up body weight and body's store of nutrients
• Reduce the treatment-related side effects and its severity
• Decrease the risk of infection
• Heal and recover quickly
It has been found that the good nutritional care can improve the physical & mental status of the patients and also prevents the disruption of treatment and avoid an unnecessary admission for feeding or blood transfusion. For the patients taking additional nutritional supplements not only the percentage of side effects reduced but also the severity of the side effects decreased tremendously. It ultimately helps to improve the overall outcomes of the treatment i.e. the therapeutic ratio of the treatment increases.
The general and routine suggestions for the cancer patients receiving cancer treatments are to--
• Eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day
• Take whole grains in place of processed grain and sugar
• Eat small meals or snacks every one to two hours
• Take more high-calorie, high-protein snacks. Try hard-cooked eggs, white meats, peanut butter, cheese, ice cream, granola bars, nutritional supplements, puddings, chips, crackers, and pretzels
• Ask your doctor about medications to help relieve constipation, nausea, pain, or other side effects
• Avoid irritating spices such as chili powder, cloves, curry, hot sauces, nutmeg, and pepper
• Eat six to eight small meals a day, instead of three large meals
• Drink 8 to 12 cups of liquid a day, and take a water bottle with you when you leave home. Drinking lots of fluids helps loosen mucus
Many clinical trials have proved the importance of the following nutritional supplements which work well for cancer patients not only in fighting the side effects of different treatment modalities but also improving their over all survival----
• Soy Protein
• Multivitamin with Zinc & Selenium
• Omega-3 Fatty Acids

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