What to Eat During and After Oral Cancer Treatment

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Friends enjoying lunch at home

What to eat and what not to eat before, during and after cancer treatment can be confusing for any person going through a cancer journey. It is important to talk to your doctor or nurse navigator about the types of foods you should avoid and/or add into your diet, especially if you are fighting or recovering from oral cancer treatment. The right nutrients in your food can assist your body in rebuilding damaged (cancer) cells, and help you fight cancer.

What you should eat during and after oral cancer treatment

Foods rich in nutrients replenish your body. This includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables – at least five servings per day. Other nutrient-rich foods include whole grain breads and cereals, lean meat such as chicken, turkey or fish and low-fat dairy products.

What foods to avoid during and after oral cancer treatment

The biggest food groups to avoid during an oral cancer journey are salt, fat, alcohol and sugar. These types of food are empty calories, meaning they provide no nutrients that benefit you and do not help your body fight cancer from growing and developing.

Why a balanced diet on a regular schedule is important in the oral cancer journey

For oral cancer patients, it is normal to develop loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, dry mouth, blistered mouth or other oral or digestive issues during the cancer journey. It is important to fight any drastic weight loss, as it can negatively affect the effectiveness of the cancer treatment and your body’s ability to fight cancer.

You may find these tips helpful:

  • Eat small, frequent, healthy meals
  • Coordinate your meals with the time of day that you are normally feeling best
  • Avoid strong smells
  • Eat cold, rather than hot foods
  • Rinse your mouth with water before eating
  • Instead of red meat, try poultry, fish, eggs, cheese or other high-protein foods
  • Try lemon-flavored drinks to stimulate saliva and taste
  • Drink lots of fluids, especially if you are undergoing chemotherapy or have a dry, sore or blistered mouth. Adequate fluids include: water, juice, soup, ice pops, tea, milk and gelatin
  • Avoid sugars, artificial sweeteners and artificial lemon

By eating the correct foods the right way, it can help you feel, look and operate better physically and mentally throughout your day-to-day life. If you have questions about treatment for oral cancer close to you, call askSARAH at 844.482.4812.

 

One Response to “What to Eat During and After Oral Cancer Treatment”

  1. Braden Bills

    I might need to have some oral cancer treatment done, and I want to make sure that I know what I can eat afterward. It makes sense that I would want to get more fruits and vegetables in my diet! It would definitely help when it comes to recovering.

    Reply

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