Nutrition During Cancer Treatment

It is important to maintain good nutrition during your cancer treatment. However, it can be difficult for you to eat because of treatment side effects. University of Missouri Health Care’s Ellis Fischel Cancer Center offers dietary services to help improve your nutrition before, during and after your cancer treatment. Our team develops personalized plans so patients can be at their best.

When should I talk to a dietitian?

It might be time to ask for a referral or schedule an appointment if:

  • Your eating habits have changed during your cancer treatment
  • You have no appetite
  • You have mouth sores or trouble swallowing
  • You are gaining or losing weight unexpectedly
  • You have diarrhea or constipation
  • You have a feeding tube or think you may need one

Our team also suggests scheduling an appointment even if you just have general questions about nutrition during cancer treatment.

What food reduces my risk of cancer?

No single food or ingredient can protect you from cancer, but there are certain foods that can help lower your risk of cancer or reoccurrence. The American Cancer Society recommends the below guidelines to help lower your risk:

  • Eat at least two and a half cups of vegetables and fruit per day. Choose a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat three or more servings of high fiber whole grain foods such as bread, cereal, or pasta made from whole grains or brown rice per day.
  • Chose nonfat or low-fat dairy products.
  • Limit processed meats such as bacon, hot dogs and sausages.
  • Choose fish, chicken or beans instead of red meat.
  • Use low-fat cooking methods like baking, broiling or steaming instead of frying or charbroiling.
  • Limit alcoholic drinks to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. One drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, or one and half ounce of hard liquor.
  • Get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week. This can be done in small increments. Our cancer rehabilitation team, part of Mizzou Therapy Services at Ellis Fischel, will work with you to develop a personalized plan for your specific needs.

Our team approach to cancer treatment

Ellis Fischel is proud to provide patients with a well-rounded treatment team. From our specialized cancer clinics and supportive services to our doctors and staff, we are able to provide the most advanced care in our region. Studies have shown that a team approach to cancer care provides patients with the best possible outcomes. At Ellis Fischel, we strive to provide our patients with access to safe, effective treatments and resources that help them overcome cancer.