Nutrition Program for Cancer Patients
Nutrition is an integral component of comprehensive cancer care. Cancer, and the treatments for cancer, can have detrimental effects on a patient's nutrition status. Eating the right foods before, during, and after treatment can help the patient feel better and stay stronger. Having cancer puts stress on the body, requiring more calories and protein to fight harder. Optimal nutrition for cancer patients must be developed on an individual basis as each person has specific nutritional needs. Eating right during and after cancer treatment is easier when nutritional counseling and sound nutritional information are readily available.
The Maimonides Cancer Center has established a nutrition program to provide patients with guidance during cancer treatment. The nutrition program works toward this goal by providing early nutrition intervention, identifying problems that affect the success of anticancer therapy. Finding and treating nutrition problems early may help the cancer patient gain or maintain weight, maintain energy and strength, lessen side effects, improve the response to cancer therapy, and reduce complications of treatment.
A Registered Dietitian works closely with our oncology team who will refer patients who are at risk for poor nutrition. Nutrition counseling can provide oncology patients with information to:
- Prevent or treat malnutrition which can cause the patient to be weak and unable to resist infections or withstand cancer therapies
- Manage and reduce the nutritional side effects of treatment which can interfere with eating
- Maintain strength and energy
- Aid in nutrition recovery following treatments
- Clarify confusing and contradictory health claims
- Promote food safety for patients with decreased immunity
- Aid in weight control for cancer survivors
- Manage the interactions between certain foods and certain drugs
- Maintain or improve quality of life
In addition to private nutrition counseling, we also offer treatment focused nutrition and cooking workshops along with an oncology specific nutrition library.