- Question from EXC: Please could you tell me which food and drink is not suitable for me during and after chemotherapy? Thanks.
- Answers - Jennifer Sabol, M.D., F.A.C.S. There is not a list of things that you should absolutely avoid during chemotherapy, or that you absolutely must have. It's important now, more than ever, to maintain a well-rounded diet and include a variety of foods.
- Diana Dyer, M.S., R.D. Focus on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, other plant foods like beans and legumes, and nuts and seeds.
- Jennifer Sabol, M.D., F.A.C.S. The only important thing to remember is that if you are having problems with a low white blood cell count during chemotherapy, your medical oncologist may ask you to make sure that your food is well-washed and well-cooked, as opposed to some of the raw fresh fruits and vegetables during that time period when you are most vulnerable to infection. As a general rule nowadays with the drugs designed to enhance your white blood cell count, this has not been as much of an issue. If you have concerns, please discuss them with your medical oncologist.
- Diana Dyer, M.S., R.D. If you're experiencing significant nausea with your chemotherapy, I would avoid your favorite foods. It's counterintuitive, but what often happens is that if you have a favorite food and you experience nausea, you're still going to experience nausea and potential vomiting. Sometimes an association can develop in your brain between your favorite food and nausea, so the next time you see your favorite food, you may feel sick. So I'd wait to have your favorite food, during the holidays or otherwise, until a time when your chemotherapy is finished and you're not feeling nauseated.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Eating and Drinking Through the Holidays featured Diana Dyer, M.S., R.D. and moderator Jennifer Sabol, M.D. answering your questions about how to stay healthy during the most hectic, high-calorie time of year.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in November 2006.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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