Nutrition

Eating right can be hard for anyone, but it becomes even tougher during and after cancer treatment, amd in particular: chemotherapy. Treatment may change your sense of taste and nausea can be a problem. You may not feel like eating and lose weight when you don’t want to. Or you might have gained weight that you can’t seem to lose. All of these things can be incredibly frustrating.

If treatment causes weight changes, eating or taste problems, do what you can and keep in mind that these problems usually improve over time. You may find it helps to eat small meals every 2 to 3 hours until you feel better. An option you may want to explore is finding a dietitian or nutritionist or an expert in nutrition who can give you ideas on how to deal with side effects of these treatments [1].

Small, simple changes in eating habits can go long way; for example, having a small plate of veggies as a snack or having one less drink tonight. Minimize the amount of food preparation: simplifying meals, buying things like prepared salad kits and entrees from the grocery store will save time and effort when your energy levels are low.

Nutritional considerations for cervical cancer

Studies suggest that dietary factors may influence the risk for cervical cancer. Certain micronutrients have been found to have a suppressive effect on HPV infection, in particular, carotenoids (both vitamin A and non-vitamin A precursors), folate, and vitamins C and E. The following dietary factors have been associated with reduced risk [2]:

Fruits and vegetables—A systematic review of evidence links fruits, vegetables, and some of their essential vitamin and nutrients to be protective against cervical cancer. The evidence was graded as ‘possible’ for vegetables, vitamin C, and many carotenoids. A possible protective effect against HPV persistence was also determined by the intake of fruits, vegetables, vitamins C and E, and the carotenoids mentioned above. Evidence was also noted as ‘probable’ for retinol and vitamin E, as well as for the roles of folate and homocysteine, in cervical neoplasia.

The National Cancer Institute recommends that people with cancer eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables to receive essential vitamins and nutrients. A 2005 study published in Molecular Medicine found that a diet consisting of indole-3-carbinol, a phytochemical in cruciferous vegetables, slowed the progression of cervical cancer [3].

It also important to note that while a large body of research on diet and cervical cancer risk exists, there has been little research on the role of diet in survival after diagnosis; nonetheless, maintaining a healthy diet in high in fruits and vegetables, especially high in carotenoids and foods with folic acid (legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables) can continue to help [8]. 

References 

[1] "Lifestyle Changes after Having Melanoma Skin Cancer." American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society, 20 Mar. 2015. Web. 14 July 2015.
[2] "Cervical Cancer: Nutritional Considerations." NutritionMD. NutritionMD, 2015. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
[3] "Diet Regimen for Cervical Cancer Patients." Livestrong. Livestrong Foundation, 15 Aug. 2011. Web. 19 Aug. 2015.
[4] "Cervical Cancer: Nutritional Considerations." NutritionMD. NutritionMD, 2015. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
[5] "Diet Regimen for Cervical Cancer Patients." Livestrong. Livestrong Foundation, 15 Aug. 2011. Web. 19 Aug. 2015.
[6] ibid.
[7] "Cervical Cancer: Nutritional Considerations." NutritionMD. NutritionMD, 2015. Web. 20 Aug. 2015.
[8] ibid.