Food

What to Eat While Getting Radiation therapy  

Introduction 

Radiation therapy is one of the most common methods to treat cancer nowadays. It uses high-energy radiation to kill or destroy cancer cells. Almost all types of cancers can be treated with the help of radiation therapy.  

Unlike chemotherapy, radiation therapy only affects the cancerous cells and not the surrounding cells. 

Hence, radiation therapy is preferred over chemotherapy. Apart from that, the cost of radiation therapy is way cheaper in India than in other developed countries.  

It may be challenging to consume enough meals and liquids as a result of radiation therapy. 

These negative effects include nausea, vomiting, oral sores, changes in taste or lack of taste, painful swallowing and chewing, changes in taste, and loss of appetite. 

Depending on the location being treated, adverse effects can vary in nature and intensity. 

The nutritional requirements of cancer patients have increased. Weight loss could result from a combination of these increased demands and the negative effects of the treatment. 

Even if you are overweight, it is crucial to try to keep your weight stable while receiving radiation. 

Muscle atrophy rather than fat metabolism frequently contribute more to weight loss following cancer treatment. The effects of muscular tissue loss include: 

  • reduced effectiveness of the treatment 
  • reduced ability to tolerate the treatment Worse adverse effects overall 
  • disruptions to treatment 
  • delayed recovery 
  • longer healing time after treatment 
  • increased tiredness 

Tips to get proper nutrition during radiation therapy 

While additional sweets and dietary fats are often not prohibited while receiving treatment, there are numerous nutritional strategies to improve your caloric intake to stop excessive weight loss. 

  • Eat little, regular meals: 

Consume little amounts periodically throughout the day rather than three substantial meals each day. Always keep food on hand so you can munch while driving, waiting for an appointment or therapy, or at other times. 

  • Eat food items high in calories 

Choose meals that are high in nutrition per serving and eat protein multiple times per day. Consume a wide range of foods with various hues, textures, and flavors. Along with foods heavy in calories and protein, it’s crucial to consume fruits and vegetables. 

  • Focus on softer and liquid-based foods 

Eating soft and liquid foods is simpler and takes less time. For instance, adding a spoonful of creamy almond or peanut butter to hot porridge can increase the calorie count by 90. 

  • Consume drinks with additional nutrition 

You can consume more calories and protein by using liquid supplements. They are simple to carry with you and require no preparation. Additionally, you can prepare shakes at home. 

  • Check your weight frequently 

Maintain a weight log. Increase your calorie and protein intake if your weight drops. Use the same scale every time for precision. 

Dietary recommendation 

The best diet during radiation therapy is: 

  • Calories rich 
  • Protein-rich 
  • Liquid intake 
  • Soft or supportive fluids 

Radiation therapy, also called radiotherapy, is given to almost half of cancer patients. Radiation therapy is one of many cancer treatments available to some patients. Others receive it as their sole kind of therapy. 

Radiation therapy causes cancer cells to shrink, grow more slowly, and eventually die. However, one negative side effect is that radiation exposure can also cause healthy tissues to be destroyed. Keeping your weight and strength stable while receiving radiation therapy is a top priority. 

Additional Cancer Treatment methods 

Treatments to remove the tumor or reduce its growth may combine surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or immunotherapy, depending on the type and stage of cancer. 

The stage of cancer determines the treatment plan. The goal of some treatments is to eradicate cancer. Sometimes the aim is to prevent cancer’s spread. You may receive therapies to ease your discomfort and lessen the consequences of other treatments. 

To encourage the rebuilding of healthy tissues, you must also make sure that your body receives the nutrition it requires. 

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