Nutrition Guide for Cancer Patients

Eating right food in right quantity can help a cancer patient feel better and stay stronger. Whether it is you or someone you care about who is suffering from cancer, it's important to know what should be consumed before, during and after the treatment so the body can heal itself. Be it the Proteins, Fats, Carbohydrates or Water, Vitamins and Minerals, the body of the cancer patient needs everything in a balanced proportion.

Nutrition Guide for Cancer Patients


Our bodies need proteins for growth, to repair body tissues and keep the immune systems at their best. The entire body system will collapse in the absence of adequate supply of proteins. A cancer patient needs more proteins than usual to heal tissues and fight infections. The best sources of protein include fish, poultry, lean red meat, eggs, low-fat dairy products, nuts and nut butters, dried beans, peas and lentils, and soy foods.


Fats are essential as part of a cancer treatment. They serve as a rich source of energy. The body breaks down fats and uses them to store energy, insulate body tissues, and also for transporting some types of vitamins through the blood. The patient, however, can choose to use more of Monounsaturated Fats and Polyunsaturated Fats and less of Saturated Fats or Trans Fats.

Sources of Monounsaturated Fats include vegetable oils like olive, canola, and peanut oils.

Sources of Polyunsaturated Fats are found mainly in vegetable oils like safflower, sunflower, corn, and flaxseed.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and Minerals are often required in small quantities for the proper functioning of the body. It may be hard for the patient to eat a balanced diet during and after the treatment. Your doctor may suggest you a daily multi-vitamin and mineral supplement.


Whether it's a cancer patient or a normal person, the body cells need water to function. The patient should drink an ideal quantity of fluids to be able to make the most of cancer treatment. A health expert can also recommend antioxidants and herbs as part of the treatment.

Safety Points:

Inform your health care team about any over-the-counter products or supplements you were using before the cancer treatment or want to use after the treatment. Take the product to your doctor and ask for his advice. In fact, you can:

Ask your doctor for reliable information on dietary supplements.

See labels on the product for both the quantity and concentration of active ingredients contained.

Call your doctor if you have side effects, like numbness, or tingling in your limbs.