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49

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer, Version 1.2017

How do I prevent or take care of

my side effects?

Taking good care of yourself is the first and most

important thing you can do to get ready for treatment.

The healthier you are before and during treatment,

the easier it will be to recover from unwanted side

effects. So if you’re already fairly active and a fan

of fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods, you’ll

want to continue those healthy habits.

Feed yourself well

Keeping yourself well-fed can help keep up your

energy so you can bounce back when treatment is

done. If your treatment team doesn’t already include

a nutritionist or dietitian, ask for one. Then set up a

meeting to work out a diet plan that includes your

unique needs. Make a plan that fits:

††

Your lifestyle that can include work, school, or

other daily needs.

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Your living situation and if you need help

cooking or food shopping.

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Your personal taste or liking for certain kinds

of food and drinks.

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The types of side effects you’re likely to have.

Nutritional counseling is important because it’s likely

everyone is going to have an opinion about what you

should eat. But when it comes to cancer, the usual

nutritional advice may not apply. If you’ re dealing

with nausea, mouth sores, or feel tired it’s good to

keep up your energy and a healthy weight. This

may mean eating lots of rich, high-calorie items and

staying away from foods that are not good for you

right now. So listen to your body, your doctors, and

your dietitian or nutritionist and do what works for

you.

Drink fluids

Your body is mostly made of 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 leave your body in need of

fluids. Drinking plenty of fluids will also help prevent

constipation (difficulty going to the bathroom),

protect your bladder and kidneys from the damage

of systemic therapy, and help flush out the chemical

waste from your treatment.

Your treatment team can guide you on exactly how

much fluids you should be drinking every day. The

general rule is to get at least 64 ounces (2 liters) of

noncaffeinated liquids every day. It is best to stick

with noncaffeinated liquids but

a little caffeine is okay. Keep

in mind that it has dehydrating

effects.

Keeping a water bottle with you

at all times will make it easier to

track how much you’re drinking

during the day. Fluids can also

come from other things listed

below.

††

Watermelon

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Ice pops or sherbets

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Sports drinks

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Juices

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Jell-O

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Soups or broths

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Fruit smoothies

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Caffeine-free herbal teas

††

Caffeine-free sodas (like

ginger ale)

6

Coping with side effects

How do I prevent or take care of my side effects?