Possible solutions to 4 nutritional challenges during cancer therapy

Appetites often change during cancer treatment. “Even if you’re not feeling particularly well, remember that nutrition is an important part of your treatment,” says registered dietitian nutritionist, Maria Erdman of the Upstate Cancer Center. She provides this advice:

* For nausea and vomiting, ask your healthcare provider if medication is warranted, and use any prescribed medication as directed. Some prevent nausea and others treat nausea. Eat small meals or snacks. Avoid warm foods with strong smells, and fried or greasy foods.

* For decreased appetite, eat small protein- and calorie-rich snacks throughout the day. Don’t sit down to a big meal at a set time. Instead, keep snacks such as Greek yogurt or peanut butter crackers handy, for times when you feel you could eat something.

* For dry mouth, suck on sugar-free candies to keep the saliva flowing. This may also help mask bad tastes.

* For changes in the way foods taste, make your own changes. If foods taste bitter, experiment with adding sweeteners. If they taste metallic, trade your silverware for plastic utensils.

Listen to an interview with Erdman on this subject.

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