Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Pancreatic Cancer Diet

Nutrition and Cancer
Adequate nutrition is essential for the body to fight pancreatic cancer. Unfortunately, cancer and its treatment can cause anorexia, weight loss and malnutrition.

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 Pancreatic Cancer Pain Control

Last Updated: Dec 22, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Pancreatic Cancer References
  1. Burris HA 3rd. Recent updates on the role of chemotherapy in pancreatic cancer. Semin Oncol. 2005 Aug;32(4 Suppl 6):S1-3. [16143160]
  2. Farrow B, Sugiyama Y, Chen A, Uffort E, Nealon W, Mark Evers B. Inflammatory mechanisms contributing to pancreatic cancer development. Ann Surg. 2004 Jun;239(6):763-9. [15166955]
  3. Holly EA, Chaliha I, Bracci PM, Gautam M. Signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer: a population-based case-control study in the San Francisco Bay area. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2004 Jun;2(6):510-7. [15181621]
  4. Lockhart AC, Rothenberg ML, Berlin JD. Treatment for pancreatic cancer: current therapy and continued progress. Gastroenterology. 2005 May;128(6):1642-54. [15887156]
  5. Nothlings U, Wilkens LR, Murphy SP, Hankin JH, Henderson BE, Kolonel LN. Meat and fat intake as risk factors for pancreatic cancer: the multiethnic cohort study. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2005 Oct 5;97(19):1458-65. [16204695]
  6. Verma M. Pancreatic cancer epidemiology. Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2005 Jun;4(3):295-301. [15896085]
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