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23- Feb-2017

10 ways to effectively deal with cancer treatment*

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Dt. Tasneem Ravat
(Asst. Professor, RD, CDE, Certified Sports Nutritionist)

Cancer has strong social and economic consequence for Indians, which leads to family impoverishment and societal inequality. There are three therapies or treatment methods to treat cancer, which often have associated various side effects including pain, nausea and disorientation. Natural aids and ways to control these side effects, with grape seed extract being efficient for pain management. Let us discuss the top ten ways to effectively deal with cancer treatment.

Cancer, a life threatening condition, is a malignancy or abnormal growth of cells. According to ICMR (2016), around 14.5 lakh new cancer cases are expected in 2016, with the numbers likely to reach nearly 17.3 lakh new cases in 2020. Many cancers are associated with infections, tobacco use, and other avoidable causes. Among the several types of cancers, there are skin cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and lymphoma. Symptoms of each cancer vary depending on the cancer type. Cancer treatment may include chemotherapy, radiation, and/ or surgery. While undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment, the patient should try to remain as healthy and comfortable as possible. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments place a higher burden on the natural nutrition system in addition to the disease itself. These treatments are often associated with various side effects like nausea, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, stomach pain, constipation, diarrhoea, mouth sores, blood disorders, loss of appetite, and hair loss. Various natural treatments such as consuming grape seed extract and natural lifestyle changes such as controlled activity and nutrition can efficiently deal with pain and discomfort during cancer treatment.

The top ten points include:

  1. Consume Probiotics: Probiotic organisms promote good health and improve the immune status. These microorganisms promote balance in the gut flora environment. It has been found that consuming natural probiotics such as cheese or yoghurt can help retard tumour growth. Probiotics can naturally strengthen digestive system and help in absorption of minerals.
  2. Take a Grape Seed Extract supplement: Grape Seed Extract is a natural way to reduce pain, especially for patients undergoing cancer treatment. Grape seed extract has high concentrations of phytonutrients such as oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPC). Proanthocyanidins present in grape seed extract have shown chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic effects on many cancer cells. The clinical implications and deleterious side effects including pain and cramps of chemotherapy are reduced with use of grape seed extract. OPC is naturally present in the skin of grape seed, hence grape seed extract is a rich source of OPC. It has potent antioxidant function to protect the cell’s DNA by fighting free radicals. It is considered more powerful than any other antioxidant systems such as vitamin C, E and beta carotene. Hence, natural Grape Seed Extract from BestSource Nutrition is highly recommended as it can help fight and prevent cancer and even other non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular disorders, while managing pain.
  3. Eat frequently: Eating small and frequent meals throughout the day is considered beneficial during treatment. An empty stomach can worsen nausea and vomiting. One should eat slowly and chew food completely. This will activate the taste buds and improve appetite. During treatment, it is preferable that food be eaten at room temperature or cold. Hot foods or the smell of hot or warm foods may trigger nausea.
  4. Avoid spicy and fatty foods: While undergoing cancer treatment, one should avoid spicy foods and foods rich in fat. They are difficult to digest, can act as an irritant and can worsen mouth sores and stomach pain.
  5. Snack light while rising, heavier before bed: Nausea can occur as soon as one wakes up. Thus, it is advisable to naturally prevent it by munching on biscuits, crackers, popcorn, or roasted chana before getting out of bed. High protein foods such as dairy products like cheese slices, cubes, crumbled paneer, lean meat should be consumed before going to bed during treatment as they stay in the digestive system longer than other foods. However, avoid foods that cause bloating. Vegetables like potato, sweet potato, yam, pulses and beans should be avoided because they can worsen nausea.
  6. Increase natural fibre in diet: Increase intake of natural fibre in the diet to help relieve constipation. Include high fibrous fruits such as banana, oranges, sweet lime, watermelon, musk melon, berries, guava, apple, and grapes and vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables such as spinach, fenugreek leaves, drumstick leaves.
  7. Drink cold fluids: To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of fluids, preferably cold beverages such as water or fruit juices. However, maintain hygiene while preparing raw juices as patients have lower immunity. All food for cancer patients should be thoroughly cooked and water boiled since chances of infection are high due to poor immunity.
  8. Don’t drink fluids while dining: Avoid drinking beverages and fluids along with the meals. Instead, consume natural drinks between meals.
  9. Eat fresh, avoid GMOs: Avoid genetically modified foods since they are usually treated with herbicides such as Roundup, a potential carcinogenic. Always choose natural, fresh, organic and preferably locally-grown foods.
  10. Remain active: A lot of bed rest can cause loss of body function and muscle weakness. Hence, modern doctors advise patients to be physically active and engage in natural therapies during cancer treatment. Simple activities such as walking, stretching, using light weights or resistance bands, knee lifting, lifting arms overhead, deep breathing, performing yogic exercises, meditation can prevent pain and improve treatment efficacy. However, there should not be overexertion or pain while exercising.

Needless to say, it is important to consult your doctor before starting any new dietary or exercise routine. However, these small changes can go a long way in helping patients combat the disease and its effects.

Disclaimer: All content provided on this section is for informational purposes only. Any views or opinions or claims represented in this content are personal, belong solely to the writer and do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the writer may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity, unless explicitly stated. Bestsourcenutrition.com makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this article.
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