If you're dealing with cancer , eating is probably the last thing on your mind, between doctor's appointments, your treatment schedule, getting enough rest, and focusing your energy on getting better. Not to mention that "normal" life doesn't stop because of cancer—there's still work and family and errands and everything in between. But getting proper nutrition during cancer treatment is important for maintaining your energy and strength, and preventing weight loss that can lead to delays in medical treatment. So instead of thinking of food as a chore, try thinking of it as a vital part of your treatment plan. As you well know if you're going through treatment, chemotherapy and radiation often cause side effects that make it difficult to eat, like low appetite, nausea, taste changes, or difficulty chewing and swallowing. A key step is being prepared to combat these potential symptoms, and you can do that by arming yourself with evidence-based nutrition info, a strong support system, a well-rounded health care team, and some tips and tricks for making food easier to get and stay down.
6 Long-Term Radiation Side Effects You Should Know
After Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer | Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Suddenly, foods lack flavor and taste bland. Know that you are not alone. Almost 50 percent of people undergoing cancer treatment experience taste changes. It's not exclusive to those undergoing chemo; people undergoing radiation therapy to the head and neck may also experience taste changes like loss of the ability to taste.
Radiation Therapy Side Effects
In breast cancer treatment, radiation fibrosis—scar tissue that forms as a result of damage caused by radiation therapy —can occur in the breast and chest wall. It can also strike the lungs and bones. It often begins with inflammation during radiation therapy and is most common in the first two years post-treatment, though it can occur up to 10 years after therapy is completed.
It's very important to remember that every person reacts differently to treatment. Any side effect you might have depends on the type and location of cancer, the dose of radiation being given, and your general health. Some people have few or no side effects, while others have quite a few. Most side effects go away within a few months of ending treatment. Some side effects may continue after treatment ends because it takes time for the healthy cells to recover from radiation.