Diet and nutrition

I have been looking online for information on the best foods to eat whilst on chemotherapy treatment.I’m a bit confused as some advice recommends red meat as extra protein is needed but I had thought that red meat should be reduced with bowel cancer. Can anyone clarify this for me and/or suggest a good source of trusted information that I can read/print off that is specifically tailored for foods to eat /avoid whilst having chemotherapy for bowel cancer. 
thank you  

  • sounds like you have a mind reading chef to support you Blush 

    Eating what you fancy seems to be the general advice which is a relief - I would imagine following a strict diet  on top of dealing with everything else would  be a huge challenge 

    thank you so much for taking the time to reply 

  • I really do have an amazing partner who supports me every step of the way! (Or should that be nap & freak out or the way?!) & realise how lucky I am! BRAIN FOG IS REAL & when there are times I’m even struggling for the words for things sometimes I know I don’t even have to (which is such a relief to have someone who just knows what you mean!) 

    So happy to be on my FINAL CYCLE (10 days left! Not that that I’m counting! Joy)

    & yes, I’m even counting half days when those tablets go down the hatch after breakfast!) & simply cannot wait for it to be over! Wishing you very well on your journey Raised handsRaised handsRaised hands


  • Hi formyfriend

    Yes, I also find that dietary information is hard to find. Even my nursing team really do not offer much advice. When I had terrible constipation they just told me to use Laxido. No diet information ever .

    I am currently on 3rd cycle oral chemo (capecitebane) which is going really well, apart from dry skin on one hand . 2 bowel movements per day, as I think I tend to eat too much fibre (porridge oats each morning etc and quite a bit of fruit and veg). It's healthy so I continue!

    I have also read that red meat should be reduced, but I think it is more valid for processed meat like smoked meat, salami's etc, any meat that has some additives. I did a blood test a few months ago, right before starting chemo, which revealed I was slightly anaemic. I was actually avoiding red meat at that time!. I slowly introduced it back into my diet and my blood results are now always "good", so I am told by my doctor and oncs. I tend to just try to be healthy / healthier and not to go extreme. I think I am only slightly extreme in that I do try to avoid sugar ie, avoiding food that contains added sugars. I got used to it and it does make you realise how much sugar is in everything. 

    Hope you find a diet that suits you and all the best with your chemo journey. Take care. 

  • I am currently having chemo every 3 weeks in hospital & tablets for two weeks. Asked my consultant if I should moderate my diet & he said no. A bit confused as to what I should be eating now as appetite isn't good & although I try to eat little & often am loosing weight.

  • Hi @craigavon  I have secondary bowel cancer - there are not many of us about it seems!  I was not given any dietary advice during chemo which I managed pretty well after it had to be reduced on two occasions. Wishing you the best of luck with your treatment - I started chemo in October after a very poor prognosis but following two clear CT scans I have been off chemo since early February! Take care 

  • I think that there are more here than you think  - who have had secondaries from Bowel cancer. My Op. for bowel cancer was in May '19. I had no follow up Chemo. In March '20....I had two nodules on one lung....I then had chemo Tabs. for 6 mths....then an RFA Lung ablation in Oct. '20. My last CT in March this year was clear. During all this time, following my major Op. for Bowel cancer, plus Chemo.....I was never offered any advice as to diet. Prior to my Bowel Op, I had lost a stone....8 - 7 stone.I did mention my weight loss whilst in hospital, & came home with a pack of nutrient drinks....that I found, gave them back. Basically, I just went back to my usual diet...which consists of eating what I want to eat...(even when on chemo.)

    I have no understanding of a low residue diet....& as for a High Fibre diet...Following my bowel stools were very loose for nearly a year after. Therefore, that kind of diet would not have worked for me. I think the reason that there is no detailed info. on dietary recommendations is not possible....& is highly dependent on very personal circumstances of each individual.

  • Hi Ollie's mum. If you do not mind me asking is it bowel cancer you have!! I am very worried bout weight loss. Am down now to 52"kgs. I wake up around 3 am and can not get back to sleep. My GP has started me on a type of anti depressant tablet that involves something in it to help me sleep. 

  • Thanks for rely. I can not take a high fibre diet as I suffer from Crohn's disease. I was told by my consultant yesterday that I will have scan on small bowel after my next chemotherapy session. I note they will delay it a week if my white blood cell count is below 1.5 . Mine was 1.7' the last time