Nutrition in Cancer Disease

Nutrients during treatment helps to maintain your body weight, improve your strength and energy, decrease the risk of infection and assist your body in healing and recovery from cancer treatments.

Anorexia is the most common cause of malnutrition in cancer patients. It can occur in cancer patients who seem like they are eating well, but are not storing fat and muscle because of tumor growth. Many factors can modify nutritional status in cancer patients, including cachexia, nausea and vomiting, decreased caloric intake or oncologic treatments capable of determining malabsorption. Decreased caloric intake is considered to be one of the major causes of malnutrition, although the causes of anorexia remain unclear.

Protein is important for cell growth and repair and a healthy immune system. Without enough protein, the body may take longer to recover from illness or cancer treatments. Good sources of protein include fish, poultry, lean red meat, eggs, dairy products, nuts and nut butters, dried beans, peas and lentils, and soy foods.

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