OncoLink

What to Eat During Cancer Treatment

Carolyn Vachani, RN, MSN, AOCN
The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: August 13, 2010

Author: Jeanne Besser, Kristina Ratley, Sheri Knecht & Michele Szafranski
Publisher: American Cancer Society, 2009
Price: $19.95 US, 147 pages
ISBN: 978-1604430059
OncoLink Rating:

Anyone who works in oncology can tell you that nutrition and dietary issues are one of the major challenges faced by patients and their caregivers. Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all solution to dietary concerns and the recipe that helps with one patient’s diarrhea, aggravates constipation for another. One person may experience nausea, while another is dealing with mouth sores and diarrhea and finding recipes that fit these needs can be difficult for dietitians, let alone caregivers. What to Eat During Cancer Treatment is a one size fits all solution - in a cookbook!

This book provides 100 easy to prepare recipes that address the major dietary concerns during cancer treatment; nausea, diarrhea, constipation, mouth sores, difficulty swallowing, taste alterations and unintentional weight loss. And because most people do not have only one of these concerns, an easy-to-follow key lets the user know when a recipe will help with multiple concerns. Chapters are broken down by the aforementioned dietary concerns and each includes an introduction to that issue and suggestions for managing it. The book is written by a group of oncology dietitians who provide tips with each recipe for things like increasing calories or protein and cooking shortcuts. Best of all, the recipes are not mushy, bland patient food. These recipes can be enjoyed by the whole family, making meal preparation easier for the caregivers.

What to Eat During Cancer Treatment includes tips for eating out, staples to keep on hand, avoiding weight gain (when appropriate), food to take-along and a list of helpful resources. This book would be a great addition to any cancer center’s library or a helpful gift for a caregiver or patient - delivered with a batch of pumpkin-ginger mini muffins (page 16), of course.