Getting more calories - adults
If you are sick or undergoing cancer treatment, you may not feel like eating. But it is important to get enough protein and calories so you do not lose too much weight. Eating well can help you handle your illness and the side effects of treatment better.
Change your eating habits to get more calories.
Ask others to prepare food for you. You may feel like eating, but you might not have enough energy to cook.
Make eating pleasant.
When you feel up to it, make some simple meals and freeze them to eat later. Ask your doctor or nurse about "Meals on Wheels" or other programs that bring food to your house.
Ask your doctor about liquid nutrition drinks.
Also, ask your doctor about any medicines that can stimulate your appetite to help you eat.
Bozzetti F, Bozzetti V. Principles and management of nutritional support in cancer. In: Walsh D, Caraceni AT, Fainsinger R, et al, eds. Palliative Medicine. 1st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 106.
National Cancer Institute: Nutrition in Cancer Care (PDQ®). Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute. Updated February 26, 2014. http://cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/supportivecare/nutrition/HealthProfessional. Accessed May 7, 2014.
Rock, CL, Doyle C, Demark-Wahnefried W, et al. Nutrition and physical activity guidelines for cancer survivors. CA Cancer J Clin. 2012; published on line at doi: 10.3322/caac.21142.
Updated by: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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