I was diagnosed 12/12/07 with this cancer adn am to begin Chemo/Radiation 01/07/08. Please advise what type of supplements, vitamins, and dietary items I should focus on during treatment. Chemo is F/U 15 and radiation details to be obtained 01/04/08 a.m. Second opinion being reviewed by Dr David Kooby (Emory Univ Georgia) at this time.
Nutrition recommendations during chemotherapy and radiation may vary somewhat based on the anticipated side effects of the particular chemotherapy regimen as well as the site of the radiation therapy. Ideally, we would advocate a healthful diet, rich in vegetables and fruits throughout your cancer treatment as best you are able. However, side effects related to therapies can sometimes make this difficult. You should consult your healthcare team regarding any restrictions they may advise (e.g., avoiding raw fruits and vegetables if blood counts are too low, or limiting dietary fiber intake due to minimize diarrhea if radiation is in the lower abdominal area). If such restrictions are not needed, aim to consume 7 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, in addition to fatty fish from wild sources and lean poultry/dairy to help meet your protein needs. Choose whole grains over refined grain products as often as possible. Adequate fluid intake is particularly important during both radiation and chemotherapy - you body would benefit from adding a couple of extra cups of liquids daily.
With regard to dietary supplements, the current scientific literature is still unclear about whether herbal/botanical products as well as high doses of some vitamins/minerals may interfere with standard cancer therapies. Until more is known, we would encourage you to focus on obtaining nutrients primarily from food sources rather than supplements. In most cases, a standard daily multiple vitamin is appropriate during chemo and radiation, and you can confirm with your team whether this is true for you.