Besides the methods of treatments such as surgery or radiation to destroy tumors and lengthen life, patients should take care to nutrition.
There still exist some misconceptions about nutrition for cancer patients. Some one thinks that when getting cancer, people should be on a diet to make the body thinner and tumors can’t develop. Other idea that patients should eat like normal regime or only foster in the stage of cancer treatment, after that it is not necessary anymore. These conceptions cause negative influence to status of the patient even can cause death.
Anorexia is a common phenomenon in cancer patients. In addition, the tumor itself is the cause of attrition of the body. Other agents in the process of treatment such as surgery, radiation and drugs also affect to the nutritional status of patients as weak digestion, absorption, vomiting… As a result patients cause weight loss or serious malnutrition which reduces resistance of the body, reduces mental function and quality of life. Cancer patients are malnourished can not meet the treatment, so the lower survival of patients with good nutritional status. According to statistics, up to 20% of cancer patients are death because of serious malnutrition.
Cancer cells get nutrients and the body’s energy to grow into the surrounding organs. Also, they release factors that increase inflammation leads to the inhibition of appetite and energy expenditure at rest.
Nutrition for cancer patients should provide enough EPA (2g/day), protein (1.3 to 1.5 g / day) and meet the demand for energy from 30 to 40 Kcal / kg compared with 20 – 30 kcal / kg of the normal people with the purpose of strengthening the body’s resistance, improving health, restoring the status of wear muscle. EPA is particularly anti-inflammatory effects, reduces the status of body protein degradation. EPA is main supplying source from fish oil in deep sea such as tuna, salmon. To enhance the protein to promote the process of assimilation, eating more meals a day (5-6 meals), Avoiding high fat foods like fried foods, steam foods such as beans, cabbage, watermelon, jackfruit or other drinks with gas, drinking enough water about 8 glasses a day.
After the treatment period, patients still need to continue fostering for rehabilitation, improved immune function, weight stable … Strengthen foods with vitamins and minerals such as fruits. When the body has recovered, patients should avoid being overweight to prevent recurrence. In particularly, exercise the body is very important as walking, cycling …with average 45 minutes per time, 3 times a week.