Thank you to guest contributor Jillian McKee, Outreach Coordinator – Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

Hearing a cancer diagnosis from a doctor is often a shock and results in many worries. As men and women wonder about the chances of surviving that mesothelioma, breast cancer or other form of cancer, healthy actions like obtaining proper nutrition might fall away. By understanding the key benefits of nutrition as it relates to cancer, it is easier to make helpful changes to the routine.

Changes From Cancer:
Proper nutrition is not always easy when facing cancer. A wide range of things change appetite and preferences during the treatment. Men and women who are struggling with cancer need to understand how the cancer, treatments or changes to body chemical balances during treatments can impact the appetite.

In many cases, cancer treatments will result in the loss of appetite. According to the National Cancer Institute, the cancer or the treatments can even result in changes to the way the body absorbs nutrients from food. The National Cancer Institute points out that sometimes treatments or certain types of cancer can result in poor absorption of nutrients like protein, carbohydrates or fats. Stomach or intestine related cancers are particularly at risk of developing problems related to poor nutrition due to poor absorption abilities.

Due to the changes in the way the body absorbs nutrition or the potential problems related to treatments like nausea that prevents eating, proper nutrition is not easy when facing cancer.

Improved Immune System Benefit:
A healthy body starts with proper nutrition and that includes the immune system. A strong immune system is vital to fighting infections that might occur after a surgery or other treatments for the cancer.

The National Cancer Institute points out that patients who are getting proper nutrition will often end up with a better ability to fight infections. This means that the immune system is better able to handle the attacks of foreign bodies that might otherwise cause problems for the body.

Immune system support is a necessary part of cancer treatment. When the immune system is weak, problems like sicknesses can further exacerbate symptoms of cancer as the body tries to fight off multiple problems at the same time.

Improved Survival Rates:
According to The Telegraph, good nutrition plays a key role in improving the survival rates of cancer patients. The newspaper article points out a study of women with breast cancer who followed nutritional advice during and after treatment. The women who were given advice showed a higher survival rate after five years than those who did not receive nutritional advice and thus did not make changes to their diets.

The study discussed in The Telegraph points out that the dietary changes were most obvious in women who had non-hormonal breast cancer. This suggests that some types of cancers are greatly impacted by eating a healthy diet.

Better Weight Maintenance:
According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer is known to change body weight. Depending on the type of cancer, it might cause weight gain or weight loss. Regardless of the type of changes to the body from treatment and cancer, the change to a healthy diet that is full of nutrition will result in improved weight maintenance.

The National Cancer Institute points out that cancer patients must obtain enough nutrition to prevent certain changes to the body weight. This is particularly true of cancers that cause significant weight loss because the body does not obtain enough nutrients to avoid turning to burning body fat.

Eating a healthier diet that helps balance any changes to the body’s ability to absorb nutrients will help prevent this eventuality and ensures that the weight remains relatively stable. A healthy weight is an important part of keeping up body strength and fighting the cancer.

Reduced Fatigue:
Fatigue is a common part of any type of cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, malnutrition is often a contributing factor to the feeling of tiredness and weakness that might accompany the disease. When the malnutrition is combined with treatments that further lead to tiredness, men and women can feel tired very often.

A healthy diet full of nutrients helps fight fatigue and improves quality of life as a result. The National Cancer Institute points out that rebalancing nutrition to account for changes in the body will help prevent malnutrition from occurring and thus helps reduce the amount of fatigue that occurs. The Institute suggests that eating a diet that contains enough calories, protein and other nutrients is the key to maintaining higher energy levels during and after treatment for many types of cancer.

Cancer is a serious condition that requires taking personal health in hand and doing everything possible to fight the situation. Nutrition is a key part of fighting cancer because it provides the body with strength, a healthy immune system and the energy needed to continue with treatments.

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About joetheflow

I'm a multimedia designer, video editor, photographer and musician who likes just about everything so here's a place to share. I'm left-right brained which is both a blessing and a curse but never boring. Check out: 3 Penguins Design - http://www.3PenguinsDesign.com ::: 3 Penguins Photography - http://www.3PenguinsPhotography.com :::

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