We understand that people with cancer are worried about coronavirus.
Here is the
We will update it regularly.
Do you have any questions about radiotherapy treatment? Ask our volunteer radiographer...
Ask about treatment, speech, voice, or swallowing difficulties during or after head...
Ask our volunteer Dietitian, Alice, your questions about diet and cancer and she...
Do you need advice on how to look after your mouth during cancer treatment? Or for...
My husband has just gone on an NG tube and we were horrified to read a brochure where the nutrition was referred to as 'feed', as if he were a chicken or a lawn. We can't see any reason the nutrition passed through the tube can't be called 'food'.
I contacted Nutricia, the supplier, and they said the words 'feed' and 'food' can be used interchangeably, which is patently not true. There is no verb 'to food'. They are not interchangeable as a noun either. You wouldn't say 'I went to Waitrose to buy feed for my husband's dinner'. It's been suggested by Josie it comes from giving a baby a bottle feed but even that is infantilising adult patients. And you wouldn't say 'baby feed' you say 'baby food'.
We're both journalists and we think words matter. Mike doesn't like his nutrition called 'feed' as if he was reduced to an animal or a baby just because he has cancer. We both think it would be much more sensitive and respectful to call it food. Just like everyone else consumes. What do other people reckon?
Keep the Faith
Completely sympathise with your opinion Ruth but personally I had no problem with the "feed" moniker. For several months I had my nourishment delivered in boxes containing stuff that I hooked myself up to overnight; I certainly never called it food, because it wasn't to me. It was just the stuff that kept me alive.
I still have real eating issues to this day, it's never a real pleasure, it's a chore.
If someone cooks a nice meal for me my brain knows it's nice and I appreciate it so that gives me a certain amount of pleasure, but it's just not what it was. Left to my own devices I'd probably live on sandwiches.
What is a Community Champion?
Metastatic SCC of right medial piriform fossa plus four malignant lymph nodes diagnosed 8th October 2013. Modified radical neck dissection November, thirty-five radiotherapy fractions with 2xCisplatin chemo Jan/Feb 2014.
That's a very interesting question. Personally I wouldn't think of it as food as I never thought about it that way during my treatment. To me it was more like liquid nourishment. I certainly agree though about the word feed. Feed brings up images of animal feed, and I can definitely understand your feelings about that. My Dietician always used to say nutrition shakes or nutritional supplements.
You're absolutely right that words matter. xx
"Life might not be the party we were expecting but while we are here we should dance."
Safe payments by:
We're here to provide physical, financial and emotional support. So whatever cancer throws your way, we're right there with you.
© Macmillan Cancer Support
© Macmillan Cancer Support, registered charity in England and Wales (261017), Scotland (SC039907) and the Isle of Man
(604). Also operating in Northern Ireland. A company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales company
number 2400969. Isle of Man company number 4694F. Registered office: 89 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7UQ. VAT no: