Proper nutrition is a vital part of cancer treatment. It can be extremely difficult to not only get the essential nutrients needed for healing of your body and maintenance of your immune system, but also to maintaining body weight, and the percentage of lean body mass (muscles) during chemotherapy and radiation treatments for oral cancer. A healthy diet–including proteins, fats, vegetables, carbohydrates and AMPLE HYDRATION–will make your cancer treatment easier, and your recovery time shorter. Make certain you know where to go to get approved nutrition guidelines. Be sure to consult your doctor or nutritionist about vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, probiotics and prebiotics. The pages in this section of the OCF web site are a good starting point. There are many aspects of your treatment that will certainly be out of your control. It is difficult to feel like a spectator in the process of becoming cancer free, and not an active participant in your return to full health. Good nutrition is something that you will have control over and will contribute to your rapid return to wellness in a significant way.
As you progress through treatments, you may develop difficulty chewing and swallowing solid food. The treatments can cause mucositis sores in your mouth, radically alter the amount of saliva you have that aids swallowing, as well as destroy temporarily your ability to taste things. It may become necessary to blend your meals and drink them orally. We provide tips for blending your food, as well as resources to find balanced recipe ideas. If things get really bad and even liquid nutrition taken orally is not keeping you properly nourished, your body weight begins to drop radically, and this must be stopped. Your doctors will set a limit on the amount of weight and lean body mass they are comfortable with you losing, and reaching that point, you