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Diet and Nutrition By popular demand our nutritional message board. This board will be monitored by a Registered RD who is certified in oncology by the American Dietetic Association

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Old 11-26-2013, 08:33 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 24
nutrition during chemotherapy

Dear ladies,
I am scheduled for chemotherapy in one week (TCH+P)
I usually don't eat meat, eat l lot of raw vegetables in salads and smoothies.
Are there any special recommendations for diet during the chemo period?
Is meat desirable as protein source or not desirable because it's difficult to digest?
what to eat to keep the digestive track calm, help boost immunity and help keep the blood counts up?
also, people have told me to expect the sense of smell and taste to change - any suggestions what to do about it?
are there any foods to avoid (i've been told tofu)?
And drinking fluids - good (to flush the system) or bad (need to keep chemo working inside)?
thank you and happy Hanukkah and Thanksgiving!
I blog about happiness here: www.olgarythm.blogspot.com

8/2013 - 35 years old; HER2+ cancer in Left breast, 2.4 cm; decided to treat it alternatively
10/2013 - follow up sono: mass is 3 cm, with two new masses in the same breast
11/2013 - bx, the mass is now 4.5 cm on sono, and one additional mass tested positive. Alternative treatment did not help - will go mainstream
12/3/13 - started chemo: TCHP x6 every 3 weeks
4/2014 - completed chemo, need to continue Herseptin for a year
4/2014 - unilateral mastectomy, expander put in
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:58 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: El Paso ,Tx
Posts: 436
Re: nutrition during chemotherapy

I was told to stay away from salads and fruits with thin skins, you can't guarantee how clean they are and if you get a bug from them its harder for your body to fight it during chemo since your immune system is weak.
dx: DCIS 6/8/10, HER 2+ 7/26/10; Stage I Age 41
Double mast w reconstruction
6 TCH w 1yr herceptin
25 radiation tx
Removal of expander on L due to infection. Tried to save it had 3 bouts of antibiotics and went to see plastic surgeon 2-3x wk to get drained. Saving it was my idea not his. But lost it anyway.
Reconstruction set for December 21st,2011
Finished chemo 12/2010
Finished Herceptin 8/26/11
Reconstruction 12/21/11
Expanders exchanged for silicon 3/19/12
Nipple reconstruction 5/18/12
Nipple tatooing- 7/9/12- All done yay!
11/22/12-Went back to get scar tissue stretched to even the outside of breast, didn't work due to it being radiated skin.
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Old 08-29-2014, 11:30 PM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 78
Re: nutrition during chemotherapy

You can get protein from beans and from peanut butter as well as other nuts and protein drinks. Beets are good for platelets, spinach, kale good for iron. Need to have about 75 grams of protein if you are eating 2000 calories a day. This is based on 170 weight. Onc dietician can give you amounts based on your weight.
Goji berries are good to help fight cancer as well. I found with lack of taste avocados went down easily, so did cold fruit pops and Greek yogurt. Cold soft stuff helped with lack of taste and mouth sores. Stay away from lemon/lime and acidic stuff as they seemed to bring on the mouth sores more.
Best of luck. I just finished my 2nd TCPH therapy today.
Also drink, drink, drink away!!!!!
Steriactic biopsy July 2011 for microcalicificarions - negative
Mammogram 2012, 2013 no change
Mammogram July 8, 2014, more microcalcifications and mass (10mm per radiologist)
Diagnostic Mammogram July 10, 2014
Steriactic Biopsy July 15, 2014
July 21 given diagnosis DCIS and IDC upper, Outer quadrant of right breast
ER Pos >95%. PR Pos 90%, HER-2-neu positive (score +3) Grade 3
Breast surgeon on July 29, 2014 says 2 cm
MRI states only mild to moderate bilateral physiologic background parenchymal enhancement with uptake on intermammary nodes
BRCA tests all negative :)
August 8 port placement. Lung partially collapsed. On oxygen until further notice
August 9, '14 started TCPH therapy with nuelasta shots. 6 cycles @ 3 weeks
5th treatment T and C dosages lowered due to bad neuropathy
6th and last TCPH changed to PH only for Dec 1st
Lumpectomy and node biopsy Dec 2
100% complete response from TCPH neoadjuvent therapy: tumor completely gone-dead cells only. Node completely free of ANY cells. Staged at 0! Margins clear from 4mm-10mm from dead cells.
2 week period following surgery went in for draining of Hematoma that filled surgery void area in breast 3 times
Continued with Herceptin only December 22, 2014 @ 3 weeks until ???
Started radiation Jan. 7, 2015 plan is for 16-20 rads
january 25th 2015 last radiation completed. Stopped at 16 due to Seroma (void in breast is filled with fluid)
January 30 Tamoxifan started
Still on oxygen, tamoxifen side effects kicking my butt. Seeing a gastro dr. due to a lot of stomach issues.
July 2015 - 3D mammogram nervous as all hell - but came back clean!!!! YEAAH
March 2016 - only using oxygen at night! Stomach issues better and trying to wean off the heartburn meds. Am hoping to get reconstructive done Jan 2017.
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Old 09-02-2014, 02:29 AM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 163
Re: nutrition during chemotherapy

Also, seeds have a lot of protein. They may be tiny but they are powerful! Sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are full of protein. Sunflower butter is delicious.
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7 years NED on September 19, 2014. Hooray!
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Old 09-02-2014, 05:10 AM   #5
Aussie Girl
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 260
Re: nutrition during chemotherapy

Hi -
it is OK to eat fresh carefully washed salad. It is salad bars where things sit around that are a problem. You take the same precautions you would in pregnancy.
Avoid the following:
Soft white cheeses eg. Ricotta, brie, camembert, blue vein and fetta
Unpasturised dairy products
Cold meats
Dried/fermented sausages
Raw seafoods eg. Oysters, sashimi
Smoked seafood (canned is okay)
Pre packed and prepared salads
Soft serve ice-cream

Hot freshly made takeaway is fine.

Lean meat is good to have because of its nutritional punch, but a balanced vegetarian diet is fine too.

If you've been vegetarian for a while you'll know how to mix your protein sources at the one meal (eg nuts and grain, or pulses and grain). Eggs and dairy are good if you aren't vegan. You will need more protein than usual to help repair the body.

I strongly suggest you go to a dietician who knows about chemo patients, if you are vegetarian or vegan as you may need supplements such as iron and Vit B12 supplementation because chemo pounds your blood cells,. There is no vegetarian source of Vit B12 - but it can be made by bacteria and this is used to enrich some cereal products. Also your doctor can give a B12 injection and iron tablets.

Most other essentials are easily available in a vegetarian diet. If you have a very low fat diet, you may need supplementation of fat soluble vitamins. There is a special nutrition forum on this site, too.

You can use the search function on this site to find lots of information about mouth care and mouth washes.

I found carbohydrates tasted like cardboard, but often found once I started eating, and distracted myself by reading, then I'd find I'd finished a meal without realizing it. Soft food and cold foods were a help when my mouth was sore. Some people find soups very helpful.

Also ask for help from friends and family if you get too tired to prepare food. Just let them know what works for you.

I wish you all the best. You'll get through it.

Aussie Girl
31mm Infiltrating duct carcinoma
Grade 3, ER/PR-, HER2+, Neg Sentinel nodes x 5
49mm field of DCIS
17 June '13: Screen detected impalpable mass, Mammogram neg, US.
25 June '13: Diagnosed after multiple biopsies and MRIs
28 June '13: Left lumpectomey
4 July '13: Left Mastectomy
12 August '13: Commenced TCH chemo
Mid December '13 : TCH finished. Herceptin continuing three weekly.
4 August 2014- Herceptin infusions finished.
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Old 09-16-2014, 03:14 AM   #6
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1
Re: nutrition during chemotherapy

very informative article... i am gonna suggest this to my aunt who is facing cancer from last one year....
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