Contact: Maria Erdman, MS, RDN, CSO, CDN Nutritional Counselor
Phone: 315 464-4219
Good nutrition is important for cancer patients because they can have unique nutritional needs. Their nutritional status should be assessed throughout all stages of their cancer care from pre-treatment, to during treatment, after treatment and into survivorship.
With proper nutrition, cancer patients can take control of their life and well-being and give themselves the best chance to win the fight against cancer. Good nutrition is especially important for children and adults because both the cancer and its treatment can affect appetite and the body’s ability to tolerate food and use nutrients.
Cancer treatments like chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery, or a combination of treatments kill cancer cells but may also damage healthy cells in the process. This is what causes the side effects of cancer treatment and can affect the patient’s desire or ability to eat or drink. Side effects can include loss of appetite, weight loss, sore mouth or throat, dry mouth, dental and gum problems, changes in taste or smell, nausea and vomiting.
Our Registered Dietitians in the Upstate Cancer Center are available to counsel patients and advise them on how best to maintain good nutrition.
There is a fee for consultation, but some insurance plans reimburse for the service. There is a grant available for cancer patients who are not covered by insurance.