Nutrition for a Patient Undergoing Radiation and Chemotherapy – Food&Nutrition Example

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"Nutrition for a Patient Undergoing Radiation and Chemotherapy"  is an engrossing example of a paper on food and nutrition.                       Mr. Allen appears to be a Cancer Patient.   The known side effects associated with Radiation along with Chemotherapy include: Loss of taste (dysgeusia): This may lead to loss of appetite given that food is tasteless. Discomfort: This may be caused by continued chemotherapy leading to nausea. This may have side effects on the brain which may cause vomiting. Throat sores: Swallowing becomes difficult, especially if the sores progressed from under the tongue to around the throat or the back of the mouth. Difficulty passing stool: This is referred to as constipation.

This may be accompanied by abdominal pain, trapped gases as well as pressure in. Also, food indigestion may result in constipation which may have been caused by brain side-effects (Grodner, Long & DeYoung, 2003). Diarrhea: recurrent bowel movements that are more liquid in consistency than normal. Chemotherapy, radiation, medication in addition to infection may lead to a condition of diarrhea. This may also be caused by medications to treat or prevent supplementary complications such as nausea, bacterial infections, etc.

Medications administered in order to thwart nausea and antibiotics can cause diarrhea. Loss of taste (dysgeusia) may be intervened through administering taste additives on food as well as appetite stimulants. This might include easily digestible bland foods, such as oatmeal, applesauce, yogurt soup as well as crackers, cream of wheat and toast Discomforts that lead to nausea can possibly be intervened by change drug category to equivalents. Suspending treatment temporarily may also be recommended. Throat sores may prevent swallowing. To intervene administer Oral Rehydration Sugars/Salts (ORS) and other liquids intravenously. Also, solids and semi-solid foods should be discontinued. To intervene in the condition of constipation administer ORS and change drugs. For diarrhea intervene through administering rehydrates such as ORS.

Changing drug categories with equivalents is also recommended (Licht, et al, 1995). A most meaningful way to evaluate weight loss BMI at the beginning: 27 and BMI at the end: 26 Bodyweight at the beginning of treatment: 171.5 lbs (77.8 Kg) Bodyweight at the end of treatment:   164 lbs (74.4 kg) The best method is to compare the change in weight that is 7.5 lbs (3.4 kg) The patient’ s nutritional status is considered ideal since he was given an adequate balanced diet that enabled him to lose some weight to desired levels medically.                       It should be understood that good nutrition is a prerequisite to pre-treatment, during treatment and post-treatment of cancer.

It helps in fighting full-blown cancer, during the symptomatic management stage as well as in the healing and recovery processes. Healthy eating is recommended for cancer pretreatment patients, which includes healthy eating planning during treatment and after treatment. The involvement of family members, close relatives, and friends is usually invoked on a cancer patient during these stages as the possible care-givers.                       It is important that the caregiver understands the health condition of the patient in all these stages.

Needless to say that each stage will bring with it different nutritional needs depending on the patient’ s changing moods clinical requirements as well as weather conditions, inter alia. There as pretreatment exercise the cancer patient should discuss with the caregiver about his or her nutritional time-table, recommended groceries, substitutes, etc.                       It is ideal to stockpile various types of durable foods before treatment that will become handy during and after treatment.

Include food items that you may need in times of cold, flu or when in no mood for a big meal. These may include such foods as oatmeal, porridge, applesauce, yogurt, soup, crackers, as well as the cream of wheat, and toast. Also, foods that you normally do not crave may be required such as salty snacks, bitter drinks. Tastes for patients can change markedly during treatment. It should be understood that the more nourished the patient’ s body is before treatment the faster it is for the patient to become well after treatment.


Licht, M.R., et al (1995). Combination radiation and chemotherapy. The Journal of urology, Vol.

153, No. 6.

Grodner, M., Long, S., & DeYoung, S. (2003). Foundations & clinical applications of nutrition: A nursing approach, 3rd Ed, MI: Mosby.

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