UAB Medicine News
Tips for Preventing Cancer & Managing Symptoms During Treatment
This guest blog was prepared by Meg Davis, MPH, RD, LD, CDE, a nutritionist and certified diabetes educator with UAB Medicine’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Ten Recommendations for Cancer Prevention
- Achieve a healthy weight. See other tips below for weight-management strategies.
- Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day. Limit sedentary habits.
- Eat a diet rich in plant foods. Try to fill at least two-thirds of your plate with whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans.
- Limit “fast food” and other processed foods high in fat, starches, or sugars.
- Limit red meats (such as beef, pork, and lamb) to 12-18 ounces per week, and avoid processed meats.
- Limit sugar-sweetened drinks. Drink mostly water and unsweetened drinks.
- If consumed at all, limit alcohol to two drinks per day for men and one for women.
- Do not use supplements to protect against cancer. Aim to meet nutritional needs through diet.
- For mothers, breastfeed your baby, if you can.
- After treatment, cancer survivors should follow these recommendations for cancer prevention.
Managing Symptoms During Cancer Treatment
- Appetite changes
- Eat small, frequent meals/snacks.
- Drink liquids between meals and drink less during meals, to prevent feeling full early.
- Make every bite count, and eat high-calorie/high-protein foods first.
- Taste changes
- Use plastic utensils and glass cups and plates.
- Try hard candy (lemon drops, peppermints, etc.).
- Use a mouthwash of baking soda, salt, and water before eating (mix 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of baking soda per quart of water).
- Use lemon juice, ginger, or mint to offset bad tastes.
- Experiment with new spices, seasonings, marinades, and ways of preparing food.
- Eat small, frequent meals slowly.
- Eat dry, bland foods (crackers, toast, dry cereals, etc.).
- Let other people cook for you, if possible.
- Avoid foods with strong odors as well as fried, fatty, and spicy foods.
- Drink plenty of fluids (at least 8 cups per day).
- Take short walks or get regular exercise, if you can.
- Eat small, frequent meals, and include protein every time you eat.
- Drink plenty of fluids (at least 8 cups per day). Hot beverages can be helpful.
- Eat high-fiber foods (whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans).
- Increase physical activity, such as walking, if possible.
- Use laxatives only as directed by your cancer care team.
SOURCE: American Cancer Society
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