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The Pancreas
Structure and Location
Functional Role of Pancreas
Pancreatic Cancer
Basics of Cancer
Pancreatic Cancer
Risk Factors
Signs and Symptoms
Diagnosis
Staging
Treatment
Surgery
Medical Treatment
Palliation
Diet and Nutrition
Exercises
FAQs
References
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Diet and Nutrition

  • Maintaining proper diet and nutrition in cancer is a very important aspect for performing daily activities, coping with the treatment, resisting infections and recovering from disease and treatment.
  • The hindrances in maintaining a healthy nutritional status are the symptoms like nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, constipation and pain. Treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy make the patient feel weak and nauseous. Other side effects of treatment like vomiting, mouth sores, problem with swallowing and pain may give rise to difficulties in eating.
  • Patients with pancreatic cancer may have problems with eating and digesting food as the pancreas that produces several digestive juices is affected.
  • The tumor may also release certain factors that breakdown muscle and fat inspite of good nutrition.

Post surgery

  • Nutrition after the surgery is important for a quick recovery, the doctor may advise not to eat or drink anything for some time just after surgery and essential nutrition will be administered through a feeding tube or a needle that is inserted into a blood vessel.
  • Liquid food like soups and juices are allowed after a few hours and then if a patient can digest light semi solid and solid food is started.

Tips on diet and nutrition16

  • Eat small and frequent meals
  • Eat soft, light food that is easy to eat and digest
  • Eat food that you like and feel like eating
  • Nutritional supplements with important vitamins and minerals can help to overcome deficiencies if any
  • Avoid food high in fat content
  • Give up alcohol and smoking
  • Consult a dietician
  • Follow your doctor's advice and inform of any deviations or problems

Ways to maintain adequate nutrition 17

  • Medicines to prevent and treat nausea and vomiting
  • Medicines to prevent and treat constipation and diarrhoea
  • Vitamin and mineral supplements
  • Pancreatic enzymes to aid digestion
  • Insulin to control blood sugar level
  • Medicines to ease swallowing and treat mouth ulcers
  • Medicines to relieve pain
  • Artificial feeding or intravenous (injection in vein) supplements