When suffering from cancer, the body’s nutritional demand and its metabolism change. These changes can be the result of the body’s response to the tumour, the side-effects of the therapy, complementary medication, or the combination of all of these factors.
Side-effects, such as nausea, vomiting and changes in the sensation of taste, can lead to a temporary decrease in appetite, difficulties in consuming sufficient food, or even make food consumption impossible. It can also be the case that the tumour is the primary cause of diminished food consumption. The anxiety and stress can also cause your appetite to diminish..
As a result of the aforementioned factors, a number of patients suffering from cancer have difficulty consuming food of sufficient quality and in adequate quantities, which will sooner or later lead to dangerous weight loss. Weight loss is very common when suffering from cancer and can be the result of the loss of appetite that has developed as a result of the tumour, side-effects of the treatment, and/or aversion of food.
The weight loss is considered dangerous when it exceeds 5% of the original body weight. This may seem little, or even insignificant, but it has been scientifically shown that even such a minor degree of weight loss already has a negative impact on the treatment.
Nutritional needs, when battling cancer
The most important nutritional aim during the course of cancer treatment is to maintain the right nutritional state and not to lose weight. The intake of the right amount of protein and calories (energy) is important for the healing of post operative wounds, combating inflammation and ensuring adequate energy levels.
The food products used in nutritional therapy are specially designed for improving health and can be obtained through the consultant’s or general practitioner’s prescription. This special nutrition can help patients in preparation for therapy, so that they will cope better with the treatments, and it can help them endure the treatments’ side-effects.
Special nutrition may contribute to the success of the treatment regardless of the stage of growth.
- The high-energy level ensures the required amount energy.
- It ensures the correct nourishment in preparation for the treatment.
- Different flavours ensure that everyone will find food they like.
- The nutrition helps you anticipate the weight loss by providing the right nourishment.
During follow-up treatment
- They are available in a broad range of flavours, so that they can be consumed over long periods of time without becoming dull.
- The food can fit exceedingly well into your daily life and eating habits, and can also be combined with normal food.