Thousands of people each year are diagnosed with mesothelioma. This rare form of cancer is particularly devastating because most victims have presented symptoms of the disease for decades but they were misdiagnosed as common cold or flu-like ailments. As with any cancer, early detection is the key to surviving the longest and misdiagnosis usually means most patients are diagnosed in a late stage of the cancer. Nutrition will play a big role in nourishing your body to help maintain a strong immune system.
In this month’s blogs you will find nutrition tips for the three main therapies for mesothelioma: chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. You will also learn how fats, carbohydrates, proteins and more can help you build up your immune system when consumed in proper proportions. You will also learn food and safety guidelines you should follow during treatment and nutrition tips for patients with advanced cancer.
Nutrition is an important part of a mesothelioma cancer treatment. Eating well during treatments will help you regain your strength, keep up your weight, decrease your risk of infection, heal and recover more quickly, better tolerate the side effects of treatment and generally make you feel better. This month’s blogs will focus on topics to help you embrace nutrition as a weapon in your defense against the cancer.
As with any diet, consult your physician to make sure you are following the best nutrition plan for your particular mesothelioma cancer diagnosis and mesothelioma treatment. Make sure your caregivers are aware of the optimal nutrition plan for you as well.
Almost all patients with a mesothelioma diagnosis were exposed to asbestos at some point in their life. There are a minute portion of diagnoses in which they are unsure of the cause or a link to asbestos exposure cannot be proven. Mesothelioma cancer is the most severe of asbestos-related illnesses. The mortality rate is the highest, even in comparison to those with asbestosis.
A mesothelioma diagnosis is also one of the hardest to diagnose – going decades mistaken for common ailments. Mesothelioma symptoms include cold and flu-like indicators that, over time, become worse like shortness of breath, abdomen or back pains. Usually, when a patient finally receives a correct diagnosis, the disease has advanced to a malignancy.
As with any cancer, a mesothelioma diagnosis comes with the sophisticated incorporation of good nutrition in order to fight the disease and help recover from mesothelioma treatment selections. Steps should be taken to follow a correct nutritional plan accounting for macronutrient and micronutrient deficiencies before surgeries. This involves identifying the problem with the possible use of oral liquid nutritional supplements, enteral or parenteral nutritional support, and/or use of pharmacologic therapies to stimulate your appetite, especially during chemotherapy.
Many procedures after a mesothelioma diagnosis create immediate changes to how the body accounts for nutrients – wound healing and recovery baselines can be enhanced with smart adjustments to diet such as: refraining from alcohol or illegal drug intake or abuse while recovering, making sure to eat sufficient calories to sustain energy levels and drinking sufficient liquids to avoid dehydration. Most importantly, if you cannot receive the daily nutritional requirements from food that are required to heal properly, find out what supplements you can use until you can eat properly and absorb more from a balanced diet.