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 diagnosis and mesothelioma treatment. Make sure your caregivers are aware of the optimal nutrition plan for you as well.
Many patients with mesothelioma will ask, “How long will I survive with this disease?” Answering the mesothelioma survival rate question is difficult and the answer is not good. Out of roughly 3000 patients that are given a mesothelioma diagnosis each year in the U.S. only 10% will make it to the five year mark. Most will not make it to the 2 year mark. Indeed, many patients and their families will turn to their doctor and ask this question and there is no good response. As with most diseases, however, there is a way to try to increase your mesothelioma life expectancy through good diet and nutrition.
One source for sound nutrition and diet if you are trying to beat the mesothelioma survival rate is the American Dietetic Association (ADA). An awesome reference for meal planning, the ADA endorses the Food Guide Pyramid and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Each back the “total diet approach” to eating. Long-term eating habit adaptation is the goal and a more flexible viewpoint of, “there are no good or bad foods, only good or bad diets or eating styles.”
When your body is undergoing treatment for mesothelioma cancer, you definitely want to avoid raw or undercooked meat, eggs, fish, unpasteurized milk or juice or untested well water or vegetable sprouts. Food and safety guidelines dictate that these foods can make anyone ill and when combatting cancer, it can only make your recuperation longer.