Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Colon Cancer Anorexia

Many patients with colorectal cancer will suffer from anorexia.

Anorexia means loss of appetite. Anorexia is a problem with many forms of cancer, because cancer can affect the body's hormones, digestive system and brain. It is also a common side effect of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Good nutrition is an important part of successful cancer treatment. Adequate nutrition can boost the immune system and help increase the effectiveness of cancer therapy.

Home care for anorexia includes:

  • Avoid stomach irritants such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
  • Avoid excessive caffeine and other stimulants.
  • Check with your doctor about drinking alcohol.
  • Do not force yourself to eat at standard times. Eat when you are hungry instead.
  • Concentrate on eating a healthy diet. Avoid junk foods.
  • Select healthy, high-calorie foods that you enjoy.
  • Eat more frequent, smaller meals.
  • Get some exercise every day.
  • Keep a daily log of your weight.
  • Don't smoke. Nicotine can suppress the appetite.
  • Ask your doctor or nutritionist about dietary supplements.
  • Ask your doctor if any medications you may be taking can cause anorexia.
  • Take any prescribed medications as directed.
  • Anti-nausea medications:
  • Appetite stimulants:

Continue to Colon Cancer Colostomy Care

Last Updated: Dec 8, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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