As prostate cancer progresses it becomes difficult for the patient to eat. Food may not taste good or it may be difficult to chew and swallow because of mouth sore and other issues. As a result the patient loses weight very fast.
Sufficient calorie intake and maintaining a healthy body weight are important to maintain the energy level of the patient and his body strong, but that becomes a challenge in prostate cancer.
Why weight loss occurs during prostate cancer?
It is not yet fully understood why prostate cancer patient suffer from ‘anorexia’ (weight loss) during treatment. It may be because food may taste different during treatment or the patient may lose appetite.
If the patient is not eating enough and feeling anxious he may easily burn off calories and unintentionally lose weight. This kind of weight loss if in significant amount is called ‘cachexia’.
If the patient is experiencing vomiting or nausea as a side effect of treatment that can be controlled through medicines so that they don’t affect the weight of the patient.
Increase Patient’s Calories:
There should be a frequent intake of food, need not necessarily be a whole meal. It can be just a sandwich or a glass of milk or juice. This helps against nausea and makes the patient feel comfortable. The appetite of the patient is also kept intact through small servings and the patient retains his standard weight. The patient should eat plenty of calorie rich food.
Flavor the food with calories:
The food cooked for the patient should be cooked in oil or butter and honey and brown sugar should be added for extra calories and good flavor.
Get liquid nutrition:
The patient should be served with nutrient supplement drinks like soups, juice, milkshakes and smoothies if they are easier to swallow.
Plenty of protein rich snacks should be eaten throughout the day.
Choose high calorie basics:
The patient should snack on cheese and crackers, puddings, muffins, yogurt and ice-creams. A spreading of cheese or peanut butter for food can be used.
Protein is the component that is important for a cancer patient and its sources are meat, eggs, milk, yogurt, fish and cheese. Protein indirectly helps to preserve the muscle mass.