Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Esophageal Cancer Liquid Diet

There are two main types of liquid diets: clear liquids and full liquids. Persons who have esophageal cancer may have difficulty swallowing and may require a liquid diet for a period of time. Nutritional supplements are usually necessary in this situation.

These diets may be recommended for:

Clear Liquid Diet
Clear liquids are liquids you can see through. Clear liquids can also contain some nutrition, but are usually not adequate to support the body's energy needs for more than a few days. Clear liquids are easily absorbed by the intestines. Liquids remove the stress on the intestines.

Clear liquids include:
  • Bouillon soup
  • Coffee
  • Broth
  • Fruit juices without pulp
  • Gelatin
  • Popsicles (no pulp)
  • Soft drinks
  • Sports drinks (e.g. Gatorade)
  • Tea
  • Water

Full Liquid Diet
This type of diet lies between a solid diet and clear liquids. It is often used by someone who is tolerating clear liquids, but cannot tolerate solid food. A full liquid diet can safely sustain the body for long periods of time.

Full liquids include:
  • Cream of wheat
  • Fruit juices
  • Honey
  • Jelly
  • Milk, milkshakes and ice cream
  • Nutrition supplement drinks, such as Ensure or Boost
  • Pureed meats
  • Pureed vegetables
  • Soups without solids
  • Syrups
  • Vegetable juices
  • Yogurt and pudding

Continue to Esophageal Cancer Pain Control

Last Updated: Dec 10, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Esophageal Cancer References
  1. Avidan B, Sonnenberg A, Schnell TG, Chejfec G, Metz A, Sontag SJ. Hiatal hernia size, Barrett's length, and severity of acid reflux are all risk factors for esophageal adenocarcinoma Am J Gastroenterol. 2002 Aug;97(8):1930-6. [12190156]
  2. Lightdale CJ, Kulkarni KG. Role of endoscopic ultrasonography in the staging and follow-up of esophageal cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2005 Jul 10;23(20):4483-9. [16002838]
  3. Shaheen N, Ransohoff DF. Gastroesophageal reflux, barrett esophagus, and esophageal cancer: scientific review. JAMA. 2002 Apr 17;287(15):1972-81. [11960540]
  4. Stathopoulos GP, Tsiaras N. Epidemiology and pathogenesis of esophageal cancer: management and its controversial results (review). Oncol Rep. 2003 Mar-Apr;10(2):449-54. [12579288]
  5. Wong R, Malthaner R. Esophageal cancer: a systematic review. Curr Probl Cancer. 2000 Nov-Dec;24(6):297-373. [11198836]
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