When a cancer is diagnosed, the patient asked many questions: about the treatment, his new daily rutine, his new life… And also about a new way of eating. A good diet is essential to guarantee a good nutritional state and to tolerate cancer treatments. Moreover, it is known that side effects contribute to malnutrition in patients. Even in the diagnosis, 40% of patients suffer from this problem, which in the most advanced cases can reach 80%. This leads to a worsening of the quality of life and difficults the success of the treatment. Malnutrition is ultimately responsible for 10-20% of cancer patient deaths.
The local radios and televisions will broadcast, from October 5th, a compilation of recommendations and recipes for cancer patients that can be seen for the first time in the local media. The contents have been produced thanks to the involvement and effort of the Xarxa Audiovisual Local (XAL), which has promoted the project within its line of Corporate Social Responsibility. To make it a reality, the XAL has had the scientific and technical support of the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), the Alicia Foundation, the Pere Virgili Health Research Institute (IISPV) and the University of Barcelona (UB). The researcher Raúl Zamora (IDIBELL-ICO-UB) has been one of the main advisers and instigators of the project, together with the researcher Anna Tresserra. All the content will also be accessible on the menjardurantelcancer.cat website.
The materials produced in video and podcast versions help, once the disease has been diagnosed, to give simple and practical guidelines to some of the patients’ needs, that add to those that already exist. Contents are addressed to relatives, patients, specialists… but they never replace the diagnosis of a medical team and that the monitoring of the health team specialists.
Material with scientific and technical support
The project has thirty-two recipes developed to mitigate the most common side effects that appear with the disease: nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, dysgeusia (distortion of the sense of taste), mucositis (sores in the mouth), solid dysphagia and liquid dysphagia (difficulty swallowing solid and liquid food, respectively).
Dietitians-nutritionists from the Catalan Institute of Oncology explain these eight side effects with recommendations of how to deal with them. In addition, ten capsules will also be disseminated to break with the most common fake myths about cancer and nutrition, also reports with first person testimonials of patients talking about their relationship with food during treatment.