Good nutrition is important in a child suffering from cancer
- Nutrition is an important factor for the health of all children. It is especially important for children suffering from cancer treatment to get the nutrients they need to fight the disease, to avoid the side effects of the treatment, have normal growth and to promote the quality of life of the child.
- Eating right before, during, and after treatment can help a child feel better and stay stronger. Hospital 57357’s nutritional therapy department created this page to help you to understand the importance of nutrition during the course of the disease, nutritional side effects of the treatment that might affect how well your child can eat.
- Not every child has nutrition-related side effects, but this guide will help you to manage these side effects when they come up.
This information is not meant to replace the advice of the medical professional. If you have any questions or concerns, you should talk to the nutritional therapy department specialist about your child’s nutritional problem.
Cancer and cancer treatments can also affect the way the body tolerates certain foods and uses nutrients. The nutrient needs of kids with cancer vary from child to child. Eating well during cancer treatment might help your child:
- To tolerate the treatment and its side effects.
- Stay closer to the treatment plan schedule.
- Heal and recover faster.
- Decrease the risk of infection during treatment.
- Have better strength and energy.
- Keep up their growth and development in the normal range.
- Reserve their body’s store of nutrients.
- Feel better and have a better quality of life.
Eating and drinking can often be challenging. The child may have symptoms, which make it difficult for him to eat a normal diet due to such as:
- Anorexia (poor appetite), nausea & vomiting, sore mouth or throat, taste changes, dry mouth, constipation or diarrhea, fatigue, abdominal colic and pain.
If the child has any of these symptoms, as many children will not meet their full dietary needs due to symptoms that are affecting their intake, talk to the nutritional specialist or dietitian. A dietitian can suggest foods and ideas to help manage these symptoms.
- Fulfill the nutritional daily requirements of the child.
- Overcome the nutritional side effects of the disease and the treatment.
- Guarantee normal development and growth of the child.
Children with cancer have their own nutrition needs. Talk to the nutritional team any time you have concerns about how much your child has been eating or drinking. The doctor, the clinical pharmacist, dietitian, as well the psychiatrist and child’s dentist can help you to satisfy your child’s needs and come up with an eating plan.
The clinical nutrition staff form a unique integrated team consisting of:
- Senior clinical nutrition professors in clinical nutrition and consultants from the National Nutrition Institute and UN organizations in clinical nutrition.
- Physician Specialized in clinical nutrition.
- Pharmacists certified from ASPEN in nutrition.
- Certified dietitians.
- Consultant and specialists of food safety.
- Trained nurses on nutrition.
How we contribute towards cancer free childhood
- Raising nutrition health awareness and nutrition education through the life cycle about the healthy diet that prevents the development of cancer or expression of cancer genes.
- Better nutrition assessment and management throughout the cycles of treatment for better response to therapy and increased cure rates
- Development of a Nutrition policy.
- Establishment of an integrated nutrition team that consists of specialized physicians, pharmacists, dietitians & food safety consultant.
- Development of Nutrition screening, assessment, support and follow up record sheets on Cerner’s system.
- Setting up a Nutrition study team.
- Ongoing research work in nutrition at different stages of implementation.
- Accreditation of the hospital in the Egyptian nutrition fellowship.
- Internship training in clinical nutrition for physicians, pharmacists, and dietitians.
- Egyptian fellowship training.
- Participation in different nutrition education and awareness activities inside and outside the hospital.
- Development of nutrition education booklet.
- Monthly nutrition education “through ask and I will answer” symposium to patient’s family.
- Application of strict rules of food safety.
- Revision of the menus and implementation of new fortified formulas.