Cancer Center Nutrition Department
How do you know what to do and how to live to prevent cancer? We have all heard of commercials about “magic pills and potions” that claim to treat your cancer or protect you from cancer, but are they real? What is the evidence? What should you eat once you have cancer? That is why the nutrition team at UF Health Cancer Center – Orlando Health is dedicated to providing optimal nutritional education for patients, family members and our community.
Nutrition education is provided by registered, licensed dietitians. As dietitians, we work with the medical team to support patients before, during and after treatment.
Our services include meal plans tailored to each patient based on his or her needs, education on healthy eating for cancer prevention, providing detailed information on vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements in cancer care, management of side effects relating to treatment, arranging tube feeding for temporary nutritional support during treatment and continued follow up visits for healthy living after treatment.
Visits with a dietitian are complimentary to patients of the Cancer Center and regular follow up appointments are encouraged. Good nutrition plays a significant role in the recovery process.
Nutrition Therapy During Treatment
A diagnosis of cancer brings questions and uncertainty. Many have heard that chemotherapy is so tough that you lose weight – and some people are happy about that thought. However, rapid weight loss usually depletes the muscle mass rather than the fat tissue, which leaves you weak, tired, weighing less, but still fat. Maintaining your nutritional status during treatment is essential so you can be as healthy as possible when emerging from treatment. This section offers information on getting enough calories during treatment to keep on “moving."
- Nutrition during chemotherapy - English / Spanish
- Food safety - English
- Safe food handling
- Fluid intake
- High protein and calorie foods
- Food and drug interactions
- Keeping a food diary - are you eating and drinking enough? Print off a few pages of this log and bring this with you when you schedule your complimentary visit with a UF Health Cancer Center at Orlando Health Dietitian.
- National Cancer Institute Booklet - Eating Hints for Cancer Patients
Suggestions for Symptom Relief
Nauseous, not hungry, food taste awful? – all are side effects of cancer treatment. You can't stay nourished, when food is not appetizing. The following suggestions are ways to alter the eating experience just enough to make eating possible.
Tools, Resources & Links
References, tables, lists, links and web sites all can assist in evaluation and interpretation of nutrition information. Below are some additional resources that may help you in your journey.
- MCRG Patient and Family Library at UF Health Cancer Center
- The New American Plate
- American Cancer Society | Nutrition and Physical Activity During and After Cancer Treatment: Answers to Common Questions
- Interested in complementary or alternative medicine? Read more at The National Institute for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Call 1.800.4CANCER (1.800.422.6237) to order your free copy of Eating Hints for Cancer Patients by the National Cancer Institute.