The foods we eat and the nutrients they may (or may not) provide are the most important factors influencing our health. This is especially true for cancer patients.
While most cancer patients are keenly aware of just how important nutrition is to their overall health and well-being, especially during active treatment, some don’t realize that proper nutrition during the post-treatment phase of survivorship plays an equally important role.
Completion of cancer treatment is both a time of reflection and great celebration. As you embark on a new journey of survivorship, you don’t want to deprive yourself proper nutrition. Developing a habit of eating well will help you rebuild tissue, regain your strength and feel better overall.
While it is always advised you consult with your primary care physician to discuss a long-term health care plan, nutrition and lifestyle changes for cancer prevention and survivorship are similar to the guidelines for general good health and well-being. Whether it is eating a diet rich in cancer-fighting nutrients or managing lingering treatment side effects, healthy eating habits are an important part of survivorship.
The American Cancer Society sets clear guidelines that teach people about how to lower cancer risk and live life to the fullest in survivorship.
The guidelines are:
- Eat a variety of healthy foods, with an emphasis on plant sources.
- Adopt a physically active lifestyle.
- Maintain a healthy weight throughout life.
- If you drink alcoholic beverages, limit your intake.
As you transition to the next phase of your cancer journey, it’s a great time to evaluate how to improve your diet for optimal health.
The registered dietitians (RDs) at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center in clinical affiliation with South Shore Hospital are nutritionists with special training in oncology and integrative nutrition. Their work is based on scientifically sound nutrition therapies. Working with other members of your health care team, your nutritionist will help you design a practical eating plan to meet your individual needs. To set up an individual nutrition appointment, please call the administrative specialist at 781-624-4690.