ROSEBURG, Ore. – March is National Nutrition Month, and nutrition plays a role in cancer treatment.
Every patient going through radiation talks to Ally Gottfried, a registered dietitian at the Community Cancer Center in Roseburg.
Gottfried said there’s a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to cancer nutrition and diets, and she wants to make sure patients have the tools they need.
“When people are going through a cancer journey, there are a lot of things going on. I think just reminding people a lot of stuff is out of their control. What they eat and how they’re living their life is certainly in their control, and we can give them the tools to help them with that,” she said.
Every year during National Nutrition Month, they have a different theme and they set up an exhibit in the waiting room, she said. This year, it’s eat right bite by bite.
There are now 13 cancers linked to obesity, so nutrition can play a huge part in your overall health.
“Fasting diets, or alkaline diets or no sugar diets, taking lots of dietary supplements, which can actually work against, if they’re doing chemo or radiation, that can actually decrease the efficacy of the treatment,” she said.
It’s really important for some patients to eat a lot of extra protein during treatment, and that can get expensive. They have a nutrition fund at the clinic, so she can go buy food a couple of times a month to help people who are struggling.
Gottfried said their treatment is divided into three groups:
- Pre-cancer, or preventative: People should eat a plant-based diet and get lots of exercise.
- During treatment: People should keep their strength up and heal
- Survivorship: The clinic helps patients address where they are in the nutritional intake and helps promote a healthy lifestyle.
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