What to eat during cancer treatment – Mesothelioma


What to eat during cancer treatment – Mesothelioma

Diagnosed of a terminal illness is just one side of a story; going through the treatment is much straining. Once you are prepared to go through the treatment of a chronic illness as in, Mesothelioma– cancer of the mesothelial tissue, it becomes necessary to follow a restricted diet.

Since Mesothelioma is, the cancer of the mesothelial lining in cavities such as pleural, pericardial or abdominal on exposure to asbestos– diet restriction must be according to the area affected. Patients under treatment lose a lot of essential tissue and muscle that contributes to weight loss.

Immunity disrupts with the heavy doses of chemotherapeutic agents. This in turn signals poor prognosis.

To fight off such aversive outcomes, it is significant to follow a balanced healthy diet. Specifically,  those individuals who are going through treatment for lung cancer have to stick to a crucial diet, without any such food particles aspired, that could ultimately cause pneumonia.

The Healthy Eating Plate

The healthy eating plate concept stems from the faculty of Harvard School of Public Health, based on guidelines for a healthy diet along with visualization of portions of diet taken.

  • Taking in supplements

Certain vitamins, minerals and dietary fibers are beneficial to boost immunity during chemotherapy but some of them avoided as they can interrupt the effectiveness of treatment. Overdose, be avoided, unless the caregiver says so.

  • Picking up the best food

It is much better to pick out the food that suits the patients’ taste, yet it has to be according to the patients’ nutritional needs. Cancer of the lungs is a critical condition where physical, as well as palliative care, is required. For that, it is better to choose what the patient desires to have.

  • The healthy portions

Instead of overloading stomach with whole meal one time, it is better to eat in chunks. In addition, it is better to drink liquids later so that the stomach does not fill up before consuming nutrient-rich meal.

Second, divide the meal into each portion containing one of the essential nutrients. Such as protein, rich food- beans, poultry, fish.

Fresh fruits with their juices extracted at home, in filtered water.

Soups, salads and casseroles with whole milk- cover up the dairy portion.

If every portion of the meal consists of an essential nutrient, the patient would not lose his weight and prognosis could be better.

  • Keeping track of calories

 Instead of cutting down fat, try to enhance calories by adding high calorie drinks in the diet. Whipped cream and toasts along with a cereal is a good combination.

In short, neither over eat nor cut off the diet. Instead, go with the flow keeping a balance between the two.

Diet in between treatment

 Prior to a surgery, it is necessary to build up good health. People going through lung cancer or peritoneal mesothelioma are fed intravenously. This helps to fight with infections and heal wounds before surgery.

With the dividing cells gone, chemotherapy also affects most of the useful cells. It affects hair follicles, cells of the digestive tract and mouth, which leads to a problem in chewing and indigestion. For that, eating soft and frothy food helps ease swallowing. Movement of the gut disturbs, for which it is advisable to take fiber in diet to prevent constipation.

Fiber rich food includes:

  • whole grain breads,
  • fruits,
  • husk,
  • green, leafy vegetables.

Radiation therapy makes swallowing difficult; one of the research discovered use of flax seeds as exhibiting anti-inflammatory properties. Taken by the patients prior to radiations, it helps assuage swelling, ease of food passing through the esophagus and less pain that is caused by the mesothelioma alone. 

Things to keep in mind

In case of infections when white blood cell count goes low, it is mandatory to avoid:

  • Eating rotten or damaged food,
  • food without containers,
  • unwashed food,
  • Raw food.

It is also important to keep in mind that people with pleural Mesothelioma or Cancer of the lungs, need not be given food containing large particles as it is known that the core factor causing Mesothelioma is asbestos. Thus, such particles could obstruct the mesothelial lining, causing extreme cough and shortness of breathe- worsening the condition.


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