What Foods Should Patients Avoid During Cancer Treatment? | Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Are there certain foods or vitamins cancer patients should avoid? Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, discusses the best foods and diet for cancer patients.

This video was originally filmed as part of a live video webchat, “The Best Foods and Diet for Cancer Treatment and Survivorship,” held on March 25, 2015. View the entire webchat here: https://youtu.be/w-92_tZr_B0

More information on nutrition during cancer treatment is available at: http://www.dana-farber.org/nutrition


So, this is one that we get a lot. A patient will come in and say, “OK. Tell me what I should eat.” And then the next question is, “OK. Tell me what not to eat.” And the truth of the matter is that it’s a very individualized thing. So, one thing I love about being a nutritionist here at Dana-Farber is that I can sit and talk to people and get to know them and get to know the details of their context, so I can really give them that advice.

But for everybody, generally speaking, for patients certainly avoiding things that you find irritating. If you have mouth sores, you’re going to want to limit very acidic foods or very spicy foods. If you don’t have mouth sores or reflux, you may not need to limit those. But we all would benefit from limiting things like processed meats, excessive amounts of red meats, fried foods, those common-sense, processed junk foods—you want to really limit those and make room for things that will actually give up nourishment.

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