Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma patients have to deal with the symptoms of the disease, as well as the side effects of their treatment. While it is possible to manage these complications with additional medication, patients can also take steps on their own to stay healthy, including making changes to their diet. A healthy diet not only helps maintain one’s quality of life while they undergo treatment that may be aggressive, but can also help slow the progression of the disease.
Treatment plans will vary by patient, depending on their disease progression. Common treatments for mesothelioma include chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery; while these treatments may be essential to fight the disease, they can also cause discomfort, chronic pain, and lack of appetite, in addition to stress and anxiety. Both the disease and treatment can affect the way the body absorbs nutrients, and if patients do not want to eat, their nutritional health can be severely impacted. Keeping track of their diet and ensuring they include the right foods can compensate for the nutritional deficits caused by the disease and improve their outlook.
Healthy Foods for Cancer Patients
There are certain foods that every patient could reap the benefits of in their diet. Fruits and vegetables are the basis of any healthy diet, but the antioxidants they contain are even more important for those undergoing cancer treatment. A colorful diet full of different fruits and vegetables can help patients get their necessary levels without having to take supplements.
Most people underestimate the importance of fat in their diet. Not all fats are created equal, but healthy, unsaturated fats are vital parts of a balanced diet. Healthy fats are found in foods such as olive oil, nuts, fish, and avocado. Carbohydrates are also essential for fueling the body and maintaining energy levels. Anyone diagnosed with mesothelioma should incorporate whole grains, such as wheat bread, pasta, brown rice, and whole-grain cereals into their diet, as well as starchy vegetables, such as corn and potatoes. The complex carbohydrates they contain regulate glucose levels, and their protease inhibitors can help slow the growth of tumors.
Protein is essential for helping boost immune responses and repair damaged tissue. Mesothelioma patients should get plenty of protein during and after treatment to help aid their recovery. Healthy sources of protein include lean meats, chicken, fish, beans, lentils, eggs, nuts, dairy, and soy-based products. Red meat and processed meats, such as bacon or hot dogs, should be limited, and patients should prioritize non-meat sources of protein, as meat proteins can cause inflammation.
It is also important to drink plenty of water. The body’s cells need water in order to function properly. Dehydration can cause a number of health issues, which can compound symptoms that patients are already experiencing.
Unique Concerns for Mesothelioma Patients
Cancer patients have unique risks when it comes to their diet. With compromised immune systems, they face a greater risk of contracting a foodborne illness, including salmonella or listeria. Avoid consuming undercooked or uncooked foods, as well as unpasteurized dairy products. Fruits and vegetables should be washed thoroughly before use, and meat and eggs should be cooked to the appropriate temperature. Additionally, while non-patients may limit their use of sauces to trim calories, these can be helpful to patients who have trouble swallowing to minimize the risk of choking on food. Small, gradual changes can help patients start to see benefits without detrimental effects, and patients can adjust their diet as their needs continue to change over the course of their treatment.
Philadelphia Mesothelioma Lawyers at Shein Law Obtain Compensation for Mesothelioma Patients
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, call the Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Shein Law. We will thoroughly review the facts of your case and hold those responsible for your asbestos exposure accountable. With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we help mesothelioma patients and their families throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. For an initial consultation, call us today at 877-743-4652 or contact us online to discuss your case.