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Nutrition Therapy

It’s important that you eat foods packed with protein and calories while undergoing cancer treatment. Eating the right kinds of foods throughout your treatment will help you feel better, stay stronger and relieve treatment side effects.

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What is nutrition therapy?

Nutrition therapy plays an important role in how we treat and manage cancer. Now more than ever, your body needs essential nutrients from proteins, carbohydrates and fats to help it function at its best during treatment. That’s where nutrition therapy comes in.

The reality is that up to 80-90% of people with cancer have signs and symptoms of malnutrition - a condition caused by a lack of key nutrients. We offer nutrition therapy to make sure you are eating a variety of healthy foods so your body can:

  • Gain its strength by absorbing key nutrients
  • Replace and keep body tissues healthy
  • Fight infection
  • Increase energy
Cancer patient cooking a healthy and nutritious meal at home with their partner.
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Cancer treatment can make it hard to eat well or enough. It's important that your body gets what it needs to say healthy. If you notice changes in your eating or big changes in your weight, you should talk to your doctor. Symptoms to share with your doctor:

  • Changes in weight
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Mouth sores
  • Dry mouth
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Changes in taste or smell
  • Difficulty walking or with daily tasks


Eating healthy will not only help you stay strong, but it can also prevent problems that may occur during treatment, like an infection. Foods rich in vitamins and minerals will help your body recover faster, minimize side effects and prevent delays in treatment. 

Once you start treatment, you will meet a registered dietician who will create a nutrition plan to keep your body at its healthiest so you can reach your treatment goals. Remember, healthy eating habits can help you with healing, recovery and your quality of life.

Anasuya Gunturi MD, PhD talks with patient at Lowell General Hospital's Women's Wellness Center clinic appointment.
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