About this service

Dietetic service

A diagnosis of cancer and subsequent treatment can affect our appetites in a variety of ways. Our cancer dieticians are able to advise and support you. This section tells you about their role and the services they offer.

Nutrition is important to: 

  • keep your body well nourished to cope with the treatments you may need
  • minimise weight loss
  • reduce muscle wasting
  • help battle fatigue
  • boost psychological wellbeing
  • reduce the risk of infection

Why do changes to appetite and weight happen?

  • the cancer itself using extra energy (calories)
  • side effects of the cancer or the treatment may include: nausea and sickness; constipation or diarrhoea; difficulties with sore mouth, swallowing or digesting food; taste changes; anxiety and worry

Where can I get advice and information?

  • family and friends
  • newspapers and magazines
  • the internet
  • alternative therapies and therapists
  • health professionals


The dietitians can help by

  • optimising nutrition pre-treatment
  • managing poor appetite and weight loss
  • managing a poor appetite in conjunction with a special diet
  • managing nutrition related symptoms
  • healthy eating and weight control
  • healthy eating advice for when treatment is completed
  • offering support for concerned families and carers

Nutrition support for a poor appetite

  • small but frequent meals
  • high energy foods and snacks
  • change in texture
  • nourishing fluids and supplements
  • focus on foods and fluids most easily tolerated

Where to get help and advice

  • nurse specialists and medical staff
  • chemotherapy day unit staff
  • radiotherapy department staff
  • cancer information Centre staff
  • nutrition and Dietetic Department

Eating and wellbeing check – Helps us to help you

  • it’s a short questionnaire to identify if nutritionally you are at risk
  • it’s completed by specialist nurses, clinic, chemotherapy and radiotherapy staff.
  • it offers information and advice
  • it offers a referral to an oncology dietitian if you need it

Helpful Resources

  • Macmillan Cancer Support
  • World Cancer Research Fund
  • John Le Vay Cancer Support and information Centre – 01473 715748
  • Nutrition and dietetic depart

Diet and Nutrition – additional links

What is an oncology dietitian?

How diet can help reduce your risk of cancer

Coping with a poor appetite during treatment

Oncology Dietetics Service

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