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Nutrition and cancer

ESNEFT Cancer Dieticians

A diagnosis of cancer and subsequent treatment can affect your appetite. Our cancer dieticians are here to advise and support you.

Good nutrition is important to:

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


Why do changes to appetite and weight happen?

The cancer itself uses extra energy (calories).  The cancer and the treatment can also cause side effects such as:

  • nausea and sickness
  • constipation
  • diarrhoea
  • sore mouth
  • difficulty swallowing
  • difficulty digesting
  • changes to the way food tastes
  • anxiety and worry


The dieticians can help:

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


Nutrition support tips for a poor appetite are:

  • eat small but frequent meals
  • eat high energy foods and snacks
  • try to change the texture to one you prefer
  • try nourishing fluids and supplements
  • focus on the foods and fluids you find it easiest to tolerate


Ipswich Hospital cancer nutrition service

Watch a video where Oncology dietician Debbie talks about the service at Ipswich Hospital. The video opens in a new window which takes you to YouTube where accessibility controls may not be supported.


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