Nutrition Matters In Cancer Treatment

Good nutrition matters in cancer treatment because eating well during treatment can improve the effectiveness of cancer treatment and help you achieve better results.

A common problem in cancer patients is malnutrition, meaning the body lacks nutrients. Malnutrition doesn’t only occur in underweight people, it happens in healthy weight and overweight people as well. The body needs more calories and proteins during most types of cancer and treatments. The extra calories and protein are used to heal tissues and fight infections during chemotherapy or radiation therapy, or after surgery. Malnutrition and unintentional weight loss during cancer treatment make it harder for the body to rebuild healthy cells between chemotherapy, lead to delays in treatment schedules, and lead to worse outcomes for paitients. Even a small amount of weight loss (5% of the original weight) during treatment may lead to worse outcomes.

Therefore, most people going through cancer treatment have to eat more than they used to eat.

  • At least three meals a day, plus snacks
  • Include protein foods at each meal
  • Include all food groups
  • Drink lots of fluid each day (at least 80-100 oz. per day) to stay hydrated, water is the best choice


This food table provides you sample food under all groups. A balanced diet means at least one type of food from all groups for each day.




* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.