Diet for people with cancer
Nowadays the incidence of neoplastic diseases is increasing regardless of the age, gender or race. Neoplasm is an abnormal growth of tissue which does not serve its function and does not respond to body signals. The disease development is long and asymptomatic as the neoplasm formation results from several cell mutations.
The treatment of neoplastic disease includes radiotherapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and surgical intervension. Patients can also benefit from consultations at the psychologist’s and psychiatrist’s.
Neoplastic disease prevention should involve healthy lifestyle: proper diet, physical activity adjusted to individual capacity, stress avoidance and dietary supplementation.
A proper diet, in turn, should be composed of an appropriate proportion of vegetables and fruit, reduction of sweets and processed food and consumption of a minimum 2 liters of liquids per day. The optimal food intake for a healthy person is shown in the diet pyramid.
Oncology patients often experience nutrition problems which include loss of appetite, consumption difficulties and, as a consequence, their body mass is gradually reduced. The metabolism in neoplastic disease causes undernourishment even though the patient’s diet is properly designed.
Basic dietary recommendations for oncology patients:
- The diet should take into account the patient’s increased demand for proteins and energy.
- To improve health status it is recommended to consume e.g. products based on propolis, bee pollen, royal jelly and stabilized aloe vera gel.
- New Zealand manuka honey shows strong anti cancerogenic properties.
- Oncology patients should also consume a lot of vitamins, esp. vit.C and E, which are strong antioxidants and stimulate the immune system. An American producer has introduced an excellent form of Vitamin C on the oat bran matrix which greatly enhances the vitamin absorption.
- To prevent undernourishment and emaciation nutrition drinks can be applied. They provide energy, a range of minerals and vitamins and a healthy balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. The drinks can be administered intravenously and enterally.
Diet in neoplastic disease should be adjusted to each patient and must meet their individual requirements and bodily demands. There is no one ideal diet for all oncology patients but there is a range of recommendations to follow.