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Nutrition and Chemotherapy after Gastric Bypass Surgery

Nutrition and Chemotherapy after Gastric Bypass Surgery

Question

I had gastric bypass surgery about 5 years ago. Now I am about to start treatment for colon cancer with chemo. I am really worried about how to manage nutrition with this combination. Any advice appreciated!

Answer

Katrina Claghorn, Registered Dietician at Penn Medicine, responds:

Managing your nutritional status during treatment may be a little challenging. You should meet with the Registered Dietitian on your medical team for support. You need to know what your nutritional needs are so you have a goal to work towards. You may need to adjust your diet to include more refined foods and calorie dense foods, which are the exact opposite of what you have been taught to eat after gastric bypass surgery, since these foods are generally better tolerated if you experience diarrhea and/or nausea. Small, frequent meals and snacks seem to work best and are best tolerated. And also, it is critical that you take your medications as directed to control the side effects so that you will be able to continue to eat.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire transcript from the Focus on GI Cancers webchat.