Is There a Special Diet for Radiation Therapy?

Georgia Decker answers the question: 'Dietary Considerations for Radiation?'

ByGeorgia Decker, R.n., Advanced Practice Nurse, Albany, New York
September 24, 2007, 6:24 PM

— -- Question: Should I take any vitamin or herb supplements or follow a special diet, and can I drink alcohol, while getting radiation therapy?

Answer: During radiation therapy, your diet may be very specific. If the radiation therapy is being directed towards your abdomen, for instance, you will have different kinds of side effects than if it's being directed towards your neck or your shoulder or a leg. So, the diet recommendations generally come from your radiation oncologist and their staff. They can tell you what to expect.

If you are having problems with nutrition, or think that you might not be getting adequate nutrition, even to ask the question means that you need to discuss it with the radiation health care professional, so that you can take a look at your diet, your situation specifically. Meeting with a dietician may be indicated, and again, you can access that dietician -- someone with specific knowledge about oncology -- through your radiation oncologist.

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