Since everyone is different, the side effects to cancer treatment vary from person to person. One common problem is constipation. Registered dietitian nutritionist Maria Erdman provides these possible solutions:
* Choose foods that are high in fiber for your meals and snacks. Shoot for 20 to 35 grams of fiber each day. Some suggestions from the Mayo Clinic:
1 cup raspberries = 8 grams fiber
1 medium pear, with skin = 5.5 grams fiber
1 medium apple, with skin = 4.4 grams fiber
1 medium banana or orange = 3.1 grams fiber
1 cup strawberry halves = 3 grams fiber
GRAINS, CEREAL & PASTA
1 cup whole wheat cooked spaghetti = 6.3 grams fiber
1 cup pearled barley, cooked = 6 grams fiber
¾ cup bran flakes = 5.3 grams fiber
1 medium oat bran muffin = 5.2 grams fiber
1 cup instant cooked oatmeal = 4 grams fiber
LEGUMES, NUTS & SEEDS
1 cup split peas, cooked = 16.3 grams fiber
1 cup lentils, cooked = 15.6 grams fiber
1 cup black beans, cooked = 15 grams fiber
1 cup lima beans, cooked = 13.2 grams fiber
1 cup baked beans, vegetarian, canned, cooked = 10.4 grams fiber
1 medium artichoke, cooked = 10.3 grams fiber
1 cup green peas, cooked = 8.8 grams fiber
1 cup broccoli, boiled = 5.1 grams fiber
1 cup turnip greens, boiled = 5 grams fiber
1 cup Brussels sprouts, cooked = 4.1 grams fiber
* Introduce fiber into your diet slowly, with a few additional grams every couple days. Otherwise, it may cause stomach upset.
* Keep hydrated with plenty of liquids, and if you are increasing your fiber intake, increase your fluid intake, too.
* Stay active with exercise, as you are able.
* Eat at roughly the same times each day.
* Eat breakfast when you start your day, and include both high-fiber foods and coffee, hot tea or hot water with lemon. Hot beverages may act as stimulants.