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Importance of a Healthy Diet for Head and Neck Cancer Patient

July 27, 2019

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“... By talking with a nutritionist, I learned that staying well hydrated, consuming a certain number of calories daily, and overall good nutrition was the key to successfully battling cancer, as well as the key to a more rapid recovery. Outside of maintaining a positive attitude, proper nutrition was key to my overall success.”


 

— Oral Cancer survivor M. Rahman.

A healthy diet is an important part of a head and neck cancer patient’s journey before, during, and after treatment. Eating healthy can help prevent weight loss, lack of appetite, and other side effects of cancer treatment. It can also help you feel better and respond better to your cancer treatment.


 

BEFORE TREATMENT

Head and neck cancers can cause eating problems before treatment even begins. Side effects like trouble swallowing and mouth sores can make eating difficult. Eating well before treatment can help you with these issues. It can also help you succeed during treatment.


 

DURING TREATMENT

Eating problems are common during head and neck cancer treatment. Side effects like nausea or decreased appetite can make it hard to feel well and eat healthy. The good news is that eating healthy can help with these side effects and help give you more energy.

Addressing eating problems can help:


 

-Prevent delays or breaks in treatment


 

-Prevent hospital stays or reduce the time you are in the hospital


 

-Improve how well you respond to treatment


 

-Improve how well treatment works


 

AFTER TREATMENT


 

A healthy diet is also important after treatment. A healthy diet can help with:
 

-Ongoing side effects after treatment


 

-Maintaining a healthy weight


 

-Prevention of heart disease and diabetes


 

-Overall health

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