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Diet to Consume During Radiotherapy

Radiation is one of the top 3 treatment alternatives for Cancer, the others being Surgery and Chemotherapy. 

One of our patient’s most common questions is what they should eat during Chemotherapy.

In this article, we will take a quick look at what you should eat and what you should avoid. 


Just watch the video below

What to eat during Radiation therapy?

When undergoing radiation therapy, you do not have to alter your diet much.

But make no mistake, sticking to a quality diet Is vital because it improves the success rate of your treatment.

So here are the top three points that you should keep in mind for your diet during the treatment:

  • Eat Protein-rich food:

This is very important. Whatever you eat, make sure it has a high protein content.

You should eat nuts, eggs, fish, seafood, meat and pulses. All these foods are rich in protein and can help keep your body healthy.

  • Change your eating habits:

Generally, we eat three meals a day, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. But if you are undergoing radiation treatment, we strongly recommend dividing your meals into small portions.

You can eat multiple times, every two or three hours. This ensures you don’t go hungry and get all the necessary proteins and vitamins.

  • Stay Hydrated:

Staying hydrated is very beneficial for every individual. And if you are undergoing radiation therapy, it’s a must.

Make sure you are taking at least 2 to 3 litres of water a day.

Sticking to these 3 points will ensure you get all the nutrients you need to stay healthy during your radiation treatment.

Now let’s look at foods you should avoid while undergoing Radiation treatment.


Related Read : 7 Common Misconceptions About Radiation Therapy

Have queries or concern ?

    Food to avoid during Radiotherapy

    This is a bit complicated. The food you need to avoid depends on the location of the Cancer and the radiation. So let’s take a look at them:

    • Head and Neck Cancer:

    When you undergo Radiotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer, the most common issues are sores and difficulty swallowing.

    So if you are getting radiation for jaw or tongue cancer, avoiding spicy and sour food will bring you much relief.

    Even sour fruits like Oranges can cause some discomfort, so avoid them.

    • Thoracic Cancer :

    If you are undergoing Radiotherapy for Lung Cancer or Oesophagus Cancer, you should avoid foods that cause Regurgitation,
    food that might cause vomiting. Strictly avoid spicy and oily food, which might increase your acidity.

    • Cervical Cancer/ Prostate Cancer/ Uterus Cancer :

    Avoid spicy food altogether if you are taking radiation for any of these cancers.

    The reason is that radiation might increase the toxicity in the rectum, cause problems while emptying the bowels, and cause a burning sensation.

    Wrapping Up

    Diet plays a pivotal role in the successful treatment of Cancer.

    So it’s vital that you strictly follow the diet regime recommended by your doctor and keep the above-mentioned things in mind.

    Protein-rich food, water and eating in small portions are very beneficial. Similarly, avoiding spicy and oily food can save you from discomfort.  

    Do not believe in myths like “You should only eat boiled food”, “You should avoid milk”, and “You should eat only raw food”. There are not any specific dietary restrictions.

    In case you need any other information or support related to Chemotherapy or Cancer, we are always here to help. Feel free to reach out.

    About Author

    Dr. Sanjay M H

    Dr. Sanjay Hunugundmath

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