Mesothelioma Treatment: The Role of Nutrition
Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that usually affects the lining of the lungs or the abdomen. It is caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral that was commonly used in many industries until the 1970s. Over time, asbestos fibers can become lodged in the lungs or abdomen, causing inflammation and scarring that can lead to cancer.
Mesothelioma is a difficult cancer to treat, and there is no cure. However, there are treatments that can help manage the symptoms and improve quality of life for mesothelioma patients. One such treatment is nutrition therapy.
Nutrition therapy involves using food and supplements to improve health and manage symptoms. It can be an important part of mesothelioma treatment, as cancer can cause loss of appetite and other side effects that can make it difficult to eat a balanced diet. Here are some ways nutrition therapy can help mesothelioma patients:
Malnutrition is a common concern for mesothelioma patients. Cancer cells use a lot of energy, and the body may struggle to keep up. Additionally, many cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation can cause nausea, vomiting, and other side effects that can make it difficult to eat.
Nutrition therapy can help combat malnutrition by providing patients with the nutrients they need to stay healthy. This may involve using supplements such as protein shakes or vitamins, or making changes to the patient's diet to include more nutrient-dense foods.
Manage Side Effects
In addition to combatting malnutrition, nutrition therapy can also help manage side effects of mesothelioma treatment. For example, some patients may experience constipation or diarrhea as a side effect of chemotherapy. A dietitian can help develop a meal plan that contains foods that are easy to digest and can help regulate bowel movements.
Likewise, some patients may experience weight gain as a result of certain treatments. In this case, a dietitian can help develop a meal plan that is low in calories and fat, while still providing the patient with the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
Mesothelioma can weaken the immune system, making patients more susceptible to infections. Good nutrition can help boost the immune system, making it easier for the body to fight off illness. Eating a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains can help support immune function and overall health.
While nutrition therapy cannot cure mesothelioma, it can be an important part of treatment. By combatting malnutrition, managing side effects, boosting immunity, and promoting overall health, nutrition therapy can help mesothelioma patients feel better and improve their quality of life. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, talk to your healthcare team about incorporating nutrition therapy into your treatment plan.