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by Jenna A. Bell, PhD, RD   |   September 28, 2017

Nutrition: Your Ally During Prostate Cancer

What, when, and how you eat is one of the most powerful tools you have during prostate cancer treatment. Research tells us that good nutrition can help you deal with the side effects of treatment, maintain your body weight, increase treatment effectiveness, improve outcomes and ultimately, make you feel better. While many aspects of treatment may seem out of your control, nutrition is one area where you can take charge.

Among patients with cancer, malnutrition is rampant. According to the National Cancer Institute, nearly 80% of cancer patients experience malnutrition. The most common cause is a diminished desire to eat or no appetite. If your body is depleted of essential nutrients you may have a less successful response to treatment or may not be able to complete the treatments as prescribed. And malnutrition happens in patients who are losing weight as well as those who are overweight. Fortunately, an experienced oncology Registered Dietitian (RD) has many ideas and insights that can help you overcome these challenges during treatment.

Step 1: Harness food for power. During prostate cancer treatment and recovery, food becomes a powerful tool. Eating the right foods will help prevent muscle or bone loss associated with treatment, decrease side effects, boost immune function, and aid in healing and recovery. Even at an advanced stage of prostate cancer, better nutrition can offer benefits and enhance quality of life.

Step 2: Take charge of your diet. Early nutrition intervention is crucial to help you identify potential barriers and solutions. Prostate cancer can affect the body’s nutritional status in many ways, so make nutrition therapy a priority early on. A personalized program with an RD as your guide will direct you to specific foods that have added benefits during prostate cancer.

Step 3: Start now. At any stage of prostate cancer, medical nutrition therapy is your ally. RDs, trained in working with people with cancer during treatment and recovery, offer the nutrition support you need. They come equipped with not only the evidence and science, but practical knowledge gained from years of patient care that provides them out-of-the-box ideas that have helped others. RDs are there for you from soup to nuts with more than grocery lists and meal prep tips. Their advice will help you manage side effects, overcome appetite and taste issues, track leading health indicators and even prepare you for the next oncology appointment. An ongoing relationship with an RD can fill an important gap in your cancer care.

Call on Care4ward to support you and your family during prostate cancer treatment and recovery. With a telemedicine program of regular care tailored specifically for you, Care4ward can be your nutrition guide to help you stay strong and get back to doing what’s most important to you.