NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Caring for Adolescents and Young Adults - page 62

NCCN Guidelines for Patients
: Caring for Adolescents and Young Adults
Version 2013
Part 6: Coping with side effects
already include a nutritionist or dietician, ask for one, and
set up a meeting to work out a nutritional plan that takes
into account your unique needs, including:
Your lifestyle (work, school, parenting, etc.),
Your living situation (how much help you have for
cooking, shopping, etc.),
Your personal tastes (if you’ve never liked broccoli,
having cancer isn’t going to magically make you
crave it), and
The types of side effects you’re likely to experience.
Nutritional counseling is particularly important because
it’s likely that nearly everyone is going to have an opinion
about what you should eat. But when it comes to cancer,
standard nutritional advice may not apply. If you’ re
dealing with nausea, mouth sores, or other side effects
of the GI tract, maintaining your energy and a healthy
weight may mean eating lots of rich, high-calorie items
and steering clear of “healthy” foods that might irritate
sensitive tissues. So listen to your body, your doctors,
and your nutritionist and do what works for you.
Drink water. A lot.
Your body is 70% water, and it needs a steady supply
to function at its best. Getting enough fluids (staying
hydrated) is even more important during cancer
treatment. Side effects such as vomiting and diarrhea
rob your body of fluids, and the drier you get the worse
your nausea will become. Drinking plenty of fluids will
also help prevent constipation (difficulty going to the
bathroom), protect your bladder and kidneys from the
damaging effects of systemic therapy, and help flush out
the chemical byproducts of your treatment.
Your treatment team can give you guidance on
exactly how much you should be drinking, but a good
general rule is to get at least 64 ounces (2 liters) of
noncaffeinated liquids every day. (Although a little
caffeine is okay, keep in mind that it has dehydrating
Keeping a water bottle with you at all times will make it
easier to track how much you’re drinking over the course
of the day. Other ways to meet your liquid quota include:
Ice pops or sherbets,
Sports drinks,
Soups or broths,
Fruit smoothies,
Caffeine-free herbal teas, and
Caffeine-free sodas (including ginger ale).
There is now a great deal of research data linking regular
alcohol intake to the risk for multiple forms of cancer.
Based on research, both men and women are affected
and are advised to drink only moderate amounts of
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