Diet for Cancer Patients during Chemotherapy

Diet for Cancer Patients during Chemotherapy

What Do I eat before going to chemotherapy?
Light, bland foods seem to work best. Some examples of choices are:

  • Poached egg and toast
  • Toasted bagel with a small amount of peanut butter
  • Khichari / poha / upma / daliya
  • Cereal and milk (try Lactaid® milk, or Soy milk, if lactose intolerant)
  • Chicken rice soup with saltine crackers

During chemotherapy take a small, bland snack with you. You can try the above foods as well as snacks on low acid juices (apple, grape, and fruit nectars), liquid yogurts, fruits such as bananas, and crackers. Bring a water bottle and fill it with your favorite beverage (avoid acidic foods which may be irritating to your digestive tract).

Juices and supplements as Ensure or Boost are usually available where you are receiving chemotherapy; however, ask in advance if these and any other foods are available. If you don’t feel like eating during the infusion that is ok, but remember that you may feel better with eating small amounts of bland food and liquids. Drink small amounts every ½ hour as tolerated.

What do I eat chemotherapy and for the next few days?

  • Eat small meals and snacks throughout the day (aim for 5-6 smaller meals rather than 3 large meals)
  • Eat lower-fat, blander foods!
  • Try colder or cool foods – these give off less odor and aroma and are especially important if you feel nauseous. Hot foods can have a more pronounced odor, therefore causing an aversion to certain foods.
  • Maintaining good protein intake is very important
  • Drink fluids frequently—this will prevent dehydration and remove some of the byproducts of the chemotherapy.
  • Water is the best, but there are other sources of fluids such as:
    • Apple and grape juice
    • Fruit nectars
    • Low-salt broth
    • Clear soups
    • Gatorade
    • Popsicles and sherbet
    • Gelatin
    • Herbal teas, such as ginger and mint
    • Weak black teas
  • Take your anti-nausea medication as prescribed by your medical team.

Home Safety after Chemotherapy Treatments? 

After receiving chemotherapy, you and your caregivers need to take special care to prevent contact with your body fluids. These fluids include urine, stools, sweat, mucus, blood, vomit, and those from sex.
Your doctor or nurse will suggest home safety measures that you and your caregivers should follow, such as:

  • Closing the lid and flush twice after using the toilet.
  • Washing your hands with soap and water after using the restroom.
  • Cleaning splashes from the toilet with bleach wipes.
  • Using gloves when handling body fluids and washing your hands after removing the gloves.
  • Wearing disposable pads or diapers if incontinence is an issue and wearing gloves when handling.
  • Washing linens soiled with body fluids separately.
  • Using condoms during sex.

The length of time that you and your caregivers need to follow these guidelines might differ depending on the policy where you receive treatment and the drugs that you receive. Your doctor or nurse will tell you how long you and your caregivers need to practice these safety measures

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