Nutrition | Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center


If You Are Coming to Us Before or During Cancer Treatment

At your visit, we’ll discuss any issues or concerns you may have. You might need help managing a side effect. Or you might be wondering how you can stay as strong as possible and maintain your weight. Maybe you’re concerned you’ll have to eat certain foods or won’t be able to eat others. Whatever your questions or concerns, we are here to listen and to help develop a plan that works for you. 

Once we have a better understanding of your needs, we’ll ask you questions to better understand where you are right now — such as what you’re currently eating, any issues that have come up since your diagnosis and your weight history. We’ll also ask you about how active you are or are able to be. 

Our goal is to set nutrition goals with you by the end of this first appointment. Together, we’ll discuss in detail how we’ll change your diet to help you. When you leave your appointment, you should have a clear understanding of your nutrition goals, such as your calorie, protein and fluid needs; how to meet these needs if you have to change your diet due to treatment-related symptoms; and specific dietary strategies to help manage treatment-related symptoms like a sore mouth and throat, diarrhea or constipation. For example, many patients struggle with low appetite or feeling full quickly. Using a whole-foods approach, we will discuss eating smaller, more frequent meals, including calorie-dense foods such as nut butters or avocado, and the benefits of drinking calorie-protein-containing fluids like smoothies or soups.

Before you leave, we’ll figure out when you need to schedule your next appointment so we can follow up and see how the nutrition plan is working as well as address any new concerns or symptoms. If you are in active treatment and having difficulty meeting your nutrition goals, we’ll set a follow-up plan with you. Often, these appointments are every one to two weeks. If you develop new issues as you go through treatment, your physician will refer you to us for another appointment.



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