Hi there, my 82-year-old gran was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (well they are relatively sure but want to take biopsies before they confirm it) and she is losing so much weight and doesn't really have much of an appetite.... she is down to 44kg. Would anyone have any advice on what we could feed her? She can tolerate soups and smoothies but they aren't enough to get her weight up. The doc is keen for us to get her weight up but it's quite hard. Thanks in adance, Kiran :)
Thank you for getting in touch with us, and welcome to our online community. My name is Annerose, I am one of the Cancer Information Nurses on the Macmillan Support Line.
I am sorry to hear about your Gran’s diagnosis, unfortunately, weight-loss and problems digesting food are common symptoms of pancreatic cancer.
It is understandable that you worry about your Gran losing more weight, you could ask your Gran’s GP to prescribe food supplements such as Ensure or Fortisip, also neutral flavoured Complan which can be added to sweet and savoury dishes for extra calories. Her GP might also be able to support her if she is experiencing any other symptoms of pancreatic cancer. Your Gran can also discuss a referral to a dietician with her GP, the hospital team might also be able to support this.
This booklet, ‘the building up diet’ might give you some ideas on how to increase nutritional value if someone cannot eat properly. Your Gran might find it easier to have small amounts of food spaced out through the day. Cancer research Uk have this on diet and pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic Cancer UK also have information on their website on diet and pancreatic cancer which might be helpful for you.
Supporting someone with cancer can be a very distressing and emotional time for everyone involved. Looking after yourself is just as important to be able to continue to support your loved one.
I hope this has been helpful. If you’d like to talk to one of our nurses or advisors, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on the support line on 0808 808 0000. We’re open from 8am until 8pm every day.
Whatever cancer throws your way, we’re right there with you.
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