Nutrition and cancer
It’s important to eat well before, during and after treatment for cancer, but it’s not always easy. In this section, you’ll find practical tips and suggestions for managing common eating problems.
Learn why eating well is important for your overall health and how to adapt what you eat after a cancer diagnosis.
Find answers to common questions such as what is the link between food and cancer, should you avoid alcohol, and is organic food better?
Explore our tips for coping with common treatment side effects, such as loss of appetite, taste and smell changes, swallowing problems, nausea, and weight changes.
Find out about nutritional issues that need extra care, such as malnutrition, diabetes, and eating with a stoma.
Learn how advanced cancer can affect how you eat and drink, and ways to manage problems such as nausea and vomiting, sore mouth, and bowel issues.
These quick meal and snack ideas and recipes may help when you feel too tired or unwell to shop for food or cook, or if you’re missing meals while having treatment.
If you’re caring for someone with cancer, you may need to help them manage eating issues caused by the cancer and its treatment.
Eating well and managing nutrition-related side effects can feel overwhelming, but there are many sources of support.
Diet during treatment
- Will this cancer treatment affect what I can eat?
- Should I be on a special diet? Should I eat only organic foods?
- Should I avoid any particular food during treatment?
- What other changes to my diet can I expect?
- Is it safe to take vitamin supplements?
- I’d like to try a special diet I’ve heard might help. Is it likely to cause any harm?
- How can I stay strong during treatment?
- Should I see a dentist?
Symptoms and side effects
- Why am I losing/gaining weight?
- Why am I feeling sick?
- Why am I so tired?
- How can I reduce nausea? Will medicine help? When should I be taking anti-nausea medicine?
- What can I do about mouth ulcers? How long will they take to heal?
- Why has my sense of taste or smell changed? Will it return to normal?
- Will these symptoms go away and, if so, when?
- Are my bowel habits of concern?
- Can you refer me to a dietitian or speech pathologist for help with swallowing difficulties?
- Do I need to change my diet after treatment ends?
- Is there a diet that can help me stay cancer-free?
- How can I get my strength and fitness back?
- Can you refer me to a dietitian to help with ongoing side effects?
We cannot give advice about the best eating plan for you. You need to discuss this with your doctors, nurses and dietitians. However, we hope this information will answer some of your questions and help you think about other questions to ask your treatment team or dietitian.