The Role Nutrition Plays During Cancer Treatment

August 13, 2020 Providence News Team

When we think of cancer treatment, nutrition isn’t typically what first comes to mind. It is however, a critical component of a comprehensive cancer treatment plan as eating the right foods before, during and after treatment can help you feel better and stronger.

At the Leonard Cancer Institute, the first comprehensive cancer treatment institute in South Orange County, we are pleased to offer outpatient nutrition services to teach patients how to best nourish their bodies during treatment so they feel their best.

Oncology and Nutrition

It’s said that up to 80% of oncology patients experience some form of malnutrition. When malnutrition develops, it can negatively affect a patient’s ability to recover and can lead to increased hospitalization, treatment interruptions and other complications. Poor nutritional status can occur as a result of unintentional weight loss, muscle wasting, increased fatigue, decreased appetite and other symptoms that negatively affect nutrition. 

At the Leonard Cancer Institute, we offer quality nutrition care through the continuum of cancer treatment; from time of diagnosis, through treatment and into cancer survivorship. Deb Pogodzinski, MPH, RDN, CSO, leads nutritional care at the Leonard Cancer Treatment and as a registered dietitian and certified specialist in oncology, she is uniquely trained to care for our cancer population. 

Some of the services Deb and her team provide include nutrition screening and assessment, one-on-one nutrition counseling and education, and individualized nutrition care plan and goals.

“I’m excited to build and develop relationships with both the Leonard Cancer Institute’s team and patients,” said Deb. “To be an active and involved member of a team that truly makes a difference in people’s lives every day, and feeling the sincere appreciation reflected in our patient’s words and actions”. 

The Leonard Cancer Institute is also equipped with a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen, where cooking demonstrations will be hosted by our registered dietitian and chef. This program will focus on the important connection between nutritious food and cancer care, which can help patients maintain strength, reduce infection risk, and limit breaks in treatment.

Recipes to Help Boost the Immune System

Looking for some recipes to give your immune system a boost? Check out some of these healthy and delicious ideas.

Pressure Cooker Lentil Stew

Roasted Salmon Topped with Sake Glazed Shitake Mushrooms

Mango Lassi Overnight Oats

Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats


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