Proper nutrition during chemotherapy increases success in treatment

A balanced and adequate diet in chemotherapy delivery provides success in coping with the side effects of the treatment, accelerating the healing of damaged normal tissues, protecting from infection and preventing possible complications. Chemotherapy, one of the treatment methods of cancer, is a form of treatment that aims to slow down, regress or stop the process of the disease by treating the tumor with drugs. The side effects of the treatment vary according to the type of drug used, the dose, the type of disease and the nature of the person. Nutrition and Diet Specialist, who stated that the most common side effects are nausea, vomiting, hair loss and fatigue. Evnur SARAY, touched upon the role of nutrition during and after chemotherapy.

Emphasizing that in the treatment of the disease, a balanced and adequate diet is very important in terms of coping with the side effects of the treatment, accelerating the healing of damaged normal tissues, protecting from infection and preventing possible complications. Saray recommended the following foods to prevent side effects that may occur during chemotherapy; On the days of chemotherapy, a light meal or snacks should be preferred, especially before chemotherapy. In small portions, often, low-fat and fibrous foods should be consumed, and no food should be eaten 1-2 hours before the treatment.

Proper nutrition increases success in cancer treatment


Consuming foods that one prefers in nausea and vomiting can be very effective in preventing nausea and vomiting. Another point to be considered is that the person should not be forced, one should not be persistent. The foods recommended for nausea and vomiting are; flavored drinks such as ginger ale, mint/lemon candies, mashed vegetables and potatoes in a blender, and crackers. Restricting fluids during meals and consuming cold foods instead of hot foods will prevent nausea and vomiting. HEFor example, fruity ice cubes will be good for nausea and vomiting.

Taste and Odor Changes (dysgeusia)

Changes in the sense of taste and smell may be seen during treatment. In this process, in foods; Enrichment with spices and seasonings (for example, onion, garlic, thyme, mint, rosemary and basil), use of sour foods (such as orange, lemon and lemonade), marinating process, choosing chicken or turkey instead of red meat will be effective.

Dry Mouth (xerostomia)

Dry mouth, which can progress after chemotherapy, can be minimized through the foods consumed. Drinking water little by little throughout the day, eating mint/lemon foods, chewing gum, consuming ice pieces and iced fruits, salad dressings and food sauces will be effective to make chewing easier.

In Mouth Sores and Pain

Foods that are easy to chew and swallow should be preferred, and it will be easier to consume drinks with the help of a straw. Liquid should be taken with the meal, instead of hot foods, room temperature foods or cold foods are recommended. Sucking a piece of ice will be effective in relieving the numbness of the mouth and the pain.

Precautions to be taken for nausea during chemotherapy treatment

Foods that are undesirable to consume are; citrus fruits, fruit juices (especially orange, lemon, lemonade, kiwi, tangerine), spicy foods (spicy, salty, sour, tomato paste), tomato, ketchup, vinegar, crackers, crackers, raw vegetables and nuts.

Loss of appetite

Loss of appetite manifests itself 1-2 days after treatment and is a common phenomenon. It is recommended to consume small meals 5-6 times a day instead of 3 main meals. Foods that are small in volume and high in protein and energy are recommended. Water should not be consumed during meals. If it needs to be drunk, it can be in small sips. If more water is to be consumed, water consumption should be started 30 minutes before or after meals.

Consumption of soft and cold foods is recommended. Eat your biggest meal when your appetite is at its best. Don’t be afraid to snack between meals. A light exercise (walking, movement) before a meal can stimulate appetite.

Early Satiation

In the treatment of early satiety, the reason should be investigated. In this process, patients should be fed less frequently, choose snacks with high energy and protein, and especially the foods consumed the day before should be questioned. We should avoid foods that are high in fat and gas-producing.




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