For the 53,000 Americans anticipated to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the coming year, obtaining proper nutrition during their battles against the disease will likely be a tremendous challenge. This particular form of cancer has the ability to interfere with appetite long before chemotherapy or other treatments are put into action. Due to its unique nature, healthcare providers recommend that patients work closely with nutrition experts.

Pancreatic cancer is able to interfere with nutrition for several reasons. Firstly, it is known to cause nausea, fatigue and pain. These symptoms on their own can alter appetite greatly. Complicating matters is the fact that pancreatic cancers are able to release hormones that make people feel like they don’t want to drink or eat. It can also cause changes in taste that make eating unpleasant.

Since nutrition is critical for giving patients the strength they need to endure treatments and enjoy life inasmuch is possible, there are tips that can help boost nutritional standing. Dietary experts recommend the following for people facing pancreatic cancer:

• Eating nutrition-dense foods – Foods like oatmeal, avocado and quinoa pack a lot of energy into every bite.
• Consuming fruit – Processed sugars can be difficult for a patient’s body to endure, but healthy sweet options like fruit can be helpful.
• Eating small meals – It is often best to eat small, frequent meals that are nutritionally dense. This can ensure a steady flow of nutrition while helping keep nausea at bay.
• Keeping a log – It can be helpful to keep a journal of foods the body has poor reactions to. Make sure to share this with medical professionals. They may be able to offer insights on other items to steer clear of and new foods to try that might not create reactions.

People who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are urged to talk with their healthcare providers about nutrition. If appetite is a concern, there are ways doctors can help ensure patients can address symptoms to promote a healthier diet before, during and after treatments.