Although many major cancer centers have onsite-registered dietitians to provide patients with nutritional guidance while undergoing treatment and during survivorship, an estimated 64% of patients with cancer use the Internet to find nutritional advice.1 These websites can help provide patients with accurate nutritional information:
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (eatright.org):Formerly the American Dietetic Association, this site includes a “Find a Registered Dietitian” search feature and food and nutrition topics, including how to eat a healthy diet on a tight budget and how to read package nutrition labels.
American Cancer Society (cancer.org): Topics include nutritional guidance for both adults and children undergoing cancer treatment, information on physical activity and dietary supplements, and free online interactive programs focusing on nutrition, treatment side-effect management, and recovery.
American Society of Clinical Oncology (cancer.net): ASCO’s site provides nutrition recommendations for patients with cancer during and after treatment, tips on managing a healthy weight, information on food safety, and how to maintain nutritional intake while overcoming treatment side effects.
National Cancer Institute (cancer.gov): This website provides a comprehensive book, Coping with Cancer: Supportive and Palliative Care, which includes information on the dietary needs of patients with cancer, how feelings can affect appetite during cancer treatment, and how to manage eating problems. ■
1. Huang GJ, Penson DF: Internet health resources and the cancer patient. Cancer Investigation 26:202-207, 2008.
How much does diet and body weight influence the effectiveness of cancer treatment and reduce the risk of cancer recurrence? What is the optimal diet for patients with cancer and survivors to follow? There are currently no hard and fast rules, but some dietary clues are starting to emerge.