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Information for Patients

Patient and Family Education

Treatment Tips for Cancer Patients

The University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center (UMGCC) provides a variety of resources to help patients and their family members manage the cancer treatment process. Below are some helpful tips on nutrition, stress reduction and managing expectations during treatment from our cancer experts.

Nutrition Tips*

Drink Plenty of Fluids

  • Use tap, filtered or distilled water
  • Try milkshakes or tea with honey
  • Add protein powder
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Limit caffeine

Eat Small Meals More Often

  • Cut one large meal into two smaller ones.
  • Keep snacks handy:
    • Dried fruit, pretzels or candy
  • Use kid-friendly foods:
    • Pudding or applesauce 6-packs
    • Squeezable yogurt or drinks
    • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
    • Baby foods and toddler meals

Consider a Juicer

  • Try homemade juices from organic fruits and vegetables.

Drink Your Meals

  • Use soups and stews as meals.
  • Try pureed or blended foods.
  • Consider nutritional supplements. Boost, Ensure and Instant Breakfast are all good options.

Read Food Labels

  • Avoid partially hydrogenated oil (trans fat).
  • Choose foods with short ingredient lists.
  • Limit processed and junk foods.
  • Look for high fiber items.

Choose Healthy Foods

  • Fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Nuts, seeds and nut butters
  • Olive and canola oils
  • Milk, cheese and yogurt
  • Fruit or juice-based popsicles, frozen yogurt or dark chocolate as snacks
  • Limit red meat to two servings per week; never eat charred meats.

Try a Kids or Chewable Vitamins

  • Only up to 100% of the Daily Value.
  • Tell your doctor about all vitamins.

Food Safety

  • Wash all fresh fruits and veggies.
  • Avoid unpasteurized foods.
  • Use a food thermometer to cook meat, pork, chicken, and fish.

Ask the Expert

Mindy Athas’s Bio Image

Get answers to your Nutrition and Cancer questions.

Mindy Athas’s Bio | Q&A Archive

Note: This is for informational purposes only. Doctors cannot provide a diagnosis or individual treatment advice via e-mail. Please consult your physician about your specific health care concerns.


*NOTE: Neutropenic patients should talk with their health care team for further instruction.

After receiving chemotherapy, you may feel fine. You may have received medications that take away your nausea and pain. You may want to eat a large portion of food at once. Don't do it!


Coping Skills

Get Up and Move

Practice Stress Management

Sleep at Night

Avoid Toxins


This page was last updated on: August 24, 2011.