Weight loss is especially common in people with pancreatic cancer. It can be associated with treatment or with the disease itself.
Good nutritional care improves outcomes and is critical for a patient’s quality of life. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network strongly recommends that patients have access to pancreatic enzymes and see a registered dietitian.
We asked Maria Petzel, who is the senior clinical dietitian for the Pancreas Surgery Program at MD Anderson Cancer Center and a member of our Scientific and Medical Advisory Board, for tips she gives patients about how to combat weight loss.
Here are her top four tips:
- 1. Track your food intake. Simply tracking everything you eat can help you eat more.
- 2. Get exercise/do weight training. It seems counterintuitive to patients, but it can help with appetite and preserving lean body mass.
- 3. Every night, plan and schedule your meals and snacks for the next day. I can’t stress this enough; it is really helpful.
- 4. Make eating a social activity. This can also be a good thing for friends and family who want to do something to help. They can set up a rotation of people to come visit while you (or a loved one) are eating a meal. The social time can be a distraction when the patient doesn’t feel like eating.
For more information regarding combating weight loss, click here.
Are you a pancreatic cancer patient or caregiver? You can access comprehensive disease information, including diet and nutrition tips, recipes and a booklet on the subject – all reviewed and approved by renowned leaders in the field by contacting the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s one-on-one PanCAN Patient Services support service by phone or email.
Come back to our blog each week for more Friday Fix: Your Weekly Nutrition Supplement.