A correct diet and a healthy, moderately active lifestyle are essential to cancer prevention.
It has been clearly demonstrated that high cholesterol and overweight not only cause damage to the heart and arteries, but are also risk factors for the development of some types of cancer.
Following the right diet is crucial not only for those who are in good health conditions, but also for people undergoing cancer treatment.
Cancer weakens the body and causes a general inflammatory state that affects both metabolism and the appetite. Many anti-cancer therapies also cause several side effects that involve the gastro-intestinal tract, such as nausea or vomiting, resulting in food refusal.
Taking the rights nutrients, managing weight loss and treating any digestive problems are essential for patient’s quality of life, and a proper nutrition should be considered an integral part of the treatment.
Many types of cancer may cause weight loss due to several factors, including lack of appetite, metabolic disorders, and swallowing and digestion difficulties.
Women operated for breast cancer, on the other hand, are prone to weight gain; this effect has a negative impact on mood and may cause hormone imbalances, resulting in a worse prognosis.
Therefore, it is essential for patients to follow a balanced diet in order to retrieve energy and reinforce their immune system, optimize the effect of drugs and reduce any toxicities caused by chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and avoid the possible development of depressive disorders.
However, for many cancer patients, eating enough food requires a significant effort and this may cause stress and anxiety.
According to AIMAC – Italian Association for Cancer Patients and their family and friends, here are some tips to increase appetite:
A diet that includes wholegrain cereals and legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables and small amounts of red meat is not only the key to healthy eating for cancer prevention, but is also highly indicated for the nutrition of cancer patients.
However, cancer patients should be aware that certain foods, though apparently harmless, may interfere with an ongoing therapy. Therefore, they should ask their doctor and comply with the doctor’s advice scrupulously.
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