Colon Cancer Nutrition
Recommendations about healthy nutrition for people with colon cancer can be quite different from the usual suggestions for healthful eating. This can be confusing for many people because these new suggestions may seem to be the opposite of what they've always heard. Nutritional recommendations usually emphasize:
- Eating lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grain breads and cereals
- Including a moderate amount of meat and dairy products
- Cutting back on fat, sugar, alcohol, and salt.
On the other hand, colon cancer nutrition recommendations may focus on helping you eat more high-calorie foods that contain high levels of protein. Recommendations might include eating or drinking more milk, cream, cheese, and cooked eggs. Other suggestions can include:
- Increasing your use of sauces and gravies
- Changing your cooking methods to include more butter, margarine, or oil.
Sometimes, nutritional recommendations for people with colon cancer call for eating less of certain high-fiber foods because these foods can aggravate problems such as diarrhea or a sore mouth.
Nutritional recommendations for people with colon cancer are different from those for the general population because they are designed to help build up your strength and help you withstand the effects of your cancer and its treatment. When you are healthy, eating enough food to get the nutrients you need is usually not a problem. During cancer treatment, however, this can become a challenge -- especially if you have side effects or simply don't feel well.
Until your treatment actually starts, you won't know exactly what (if any) side effects you may have or how you'll feel. One way to prepare is to think of your treatment as a time for you to concentrate on yourself and on getting well. The following sections describe some other ways to get ready.