A dietition/nutritionist talks about staying one step ahead of malnutrition and unhealthy weight loss
In the New Year, you may be looking to turn over a new leaf. One goal may be to improve your nutrition. Many cancer survivors struggle with food issues. In fact, research shows that up to 80 percent of people with a cancer diagnosis are expected to experience malnutrition at some point during treatment. Even before a diagnosis, as many as 40 percent of people with cancer experience unhealthy weight loss. Unhealthy weight loss can lead to decreased response to treatment, delays in treatment, and reduced quality of life.
You can avoid these nutrition problems! Use new eating strategies to improve your health and wellbeing during cancer treatment. Start today by improving your nutrition IQ.
Here are seven food and cancer facts that you may not know:
1) You can’t get all the nutrition your body needs from juicing. This surprises many people because of the recent popularity of juicing. Juicing is low in protein. Cancer survivors may need extra dietary protein during treatment to combat muscle loss. Pump up your juices by adding a scoop of protein powder, 4-8 ounces of Greek yogurt, or egg white powder to your glass. Always remember, juicing is a great way to add fruits or vegetables to your diet, but should not be used to try to meet all of your nutrition needs.
A potential new therapeutic approach for blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN), a very rare form of blood cancer with no standard treatment, continues to show promise as it moves through early clinical trials.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has a long history of supporting the development of SL-401, a targeted therapy that has shown significant anti-tumor effects. The current trials by Stemline Therapeutics are being sponsored in part by over $3 million in LLS funding through the Therapy Acceleration Program (TAP). TAP is a strategic initiative to partner with biotechnology companies and speed the development of new therapies.
BPDCN is a rare aggressive disease of the bone marrow and blood cells that has few effective treatment options. The disease is frequently misdiagnosed and under-reported and its overall incidence is extremely low, accounting for 0.44% of all hematologic malignancies.
Because there is no widely accepted protocol for BPDCN, patients are often treated as leukemia or lymphoma patients. Those who relapse after chemotherapy have a particularly poor prognosis. LLS considers its support critical to the development of this therapy.
In Jon Christoffersen’s house, important occasions - such as the end of chemotherapy - are worthy of great celebration. First it was a tattoo to mark the beginning and end of his treatment, and now, on his 10-year anniversary of being cancer free, it’s time to party.
A house party complete with toast in his honor and a “%&#%$# Cancer” cake marked the occasion in December for Christoffersen, who had acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) when he was a teenager. He's now 29. Although he never needed a bone marrow transplant, he and his wife, Kelly, were aware of how important that option is for many survivors and included a representative from Be The Match. They told their guests how easy it was to be a marrow donor and the only people who didn’t sign up were those who were too old, had an extreme needle issue or a pre-existing blood condition.
While Christoffersen appreciated the party, he noted that it doesn't take much for him to remember his cancer experience as he had his first and last dates of chemo tattooed on his left forearm.