Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Melanoma Diet

Adequate nutrition is essential for the body to fight malignant melanoma. Unfortunately, malignant melanoma and its treatment can cause anorexia, weight loss and malnutrition.

Nutrition and Cancer
There are two main goals for a cancer diet:

  • Achieve and maintain a reasonable weight.
  • Prevent and correct poor nutrition.

Strategies for evaluating weight loss and anorexia include:
  • Determine symptoms that might cause loss of appetite.
  • Learn what foods stimulate the appetite.
  • Provide nutritional and dietary counseling.

Practical dietary guidelines:
  • Atmosphere does make a difference: an attractively set table can help take your mind off a poor appetite.
  • Aromas may also help stimulate the appetite, such as freshly baked bread and cookies.
  • A glass of wine or beer prior to meals may stimulate the appetite.
  • Avoid foods that do not interest you.
  • Discuss your eating problems with your doctor.
  • Give food a chance: food that sounds unappealing today, may sound good tomorrow.
  • Stay away from raw eggs and raw meats.
  • Take advantage of a good appetite.
  • Eat when you feel hungry: do not wait for mealtime.

Benefits of proper nutrition during chemotherapy:
  • Improves your tolerance to therapy: a well-nourished body is stronger and more resilient than a poorly nourished one
  • Increases the effectiveness of therapy
  • Regulates your weight
  • Speeds recovery from treatment

Continue to Melanoma Taking Control

Last Updated: Mar 26, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Melanoma References
  1. Brown TJ, Nelson BR. Malignant melanoma: a clinical review. Cutis. 1999 May;63(5):275-8, 281-4. [10349543]
  2. Ruiz-Maldonado R, Orozco-Covarrubias ML. Malignant melanoma in children. A review. Arch Dermatol. 1997 Mar;133(3):363-71. [9080898]
  3. Schuchter LM. Review of the 2001 AJCC staging system for cutaneous malignant melanoma. Curr Oncol Rep. 2001 Jul;3(4):332-7. [11389818]
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