If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with lung cancer, you might be familiar with the uncomfortable side effects that both the disease and treatment can bring. And for many, those symptoms make it challenging to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet, something that’s crucial to lung cancer recovery. Here’s a look at some lung cancer nutrition guidelines from Regional Cancer Care Associates and why patients should consider them.
On its own, lung cancer can leave patients feeling fatigued, nauseated, and weak. And when coupled with the side effects of lung cancer treatment, maintaining a balanced diet can be incredibly difficult. But the benefits of good nutrition during lung cancer recovery are numerous, including:
Best Nutrition Practices for Lung Cancer
After a lung cancer diagnosis, there are many things for patients to consider, and it can be difficult to know where to begin when it comes to proper nutrition. However, the following best practices from Regional Cancer Care Associates can provide a head start for you or your loved ones fighting the disease:
Ensure good hydration
To avoid dehydration, one of the many unfavorable effects caused by lung cancer treatment, patients should drink at least 64 ounces of water each day. Some find it helpful to drink between one and two glasses of water as soon as they wake up. It’s also important to avoid drinking caffeinated beverages and alcohol, either of which can cause dehydration.
Incorporate protein-rich foods
By incorporating protein-rich foods into their diets, patients with lung cancer can also help their body repair damaged tissues. Plus, this dietary addition can boost immune system recovery, which in turn can help patients feel better faster. To get more protein into your diet, try eating lean meats like chicken and turkey, eggs, low-fat dairy products, or beans.
Opt for whole grains
While heavy carbohydrates like pasta and pizza may seem tempting during lung cancer recovery, consider whole grains instead. Whole grains are great sources of complex carbohydrates and fiber, both of which can help boost your energy levels. And since lung cancer treatment can cause fatigue and muscle weakness, making sure your body has the fuel it needs is important. To add more whole grains to your meals, choose oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, brown rice, or whole-grain pasta when planning your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.
Discuss supplements with your doctor
Unless your doctor has told you otherwise, food should be your main source of nutrients, especially if you have lung cancer. Certain medications and cancer treatments can interact with vitamins and supplements, making it important to regularly communicate with your doctor about your needs and nutritional regimen. However, your doctor can analyze your individual case and determine if a dietary supplement is appropriate for you during this time.
Meeting Your Unique Needs
Maintaining ideal nutrition while battling lung cancer can help patients build strength and stay at a healthy weight, directly combating the weight and muscle loss that sometimes results from cancer treatment. At Regional Cancer Care Associates, we understand that no two cancer diagnoses are exactly alike, and neither are no two patients’ lung cancer nutrition plans. To learn more about the relationship between lung cancer recovery and good nutrition, contact us today.
Regional Cancer Care Associates is one of fewer than 200 medical practices in the country selected to participate in the Oncology Care Model (OCM); a recent Medicare initiative aimed at improving care coordination and access to and quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries undergoing chemotherapy treatment.