Should I follow a special diet while I am getting radiation therapy?

Your body uses a lot of energy to heal during radiation therapy. It is important that you eat enough calories and protein to keep your weight the same during this time. Ask your doctor or nurse if you need a special diet while you are getting radiation therapy. You might also find it helpful to speak with a dietitian. You may also want to read Eating Hints, a book from the National Cancer Institute. You can order a free copy online at www.cancer.gov/publications or 1-800-4-CANCER.

Clear Liquids

This list may help if you have diarrhea, which can be a potential side-effect while undergoing radiation therapy.

Types of Liquids Includes . . .
Soups Bouillon
Clear, fat-free broth
Consommé
Strained vegetable broth
Drinks Apple juice
Clear carbonated beverages
Cranberry or grape juice
Fruit-flavored drinks
Fruit punch
Sports drinks
Tea
Water
Sweets Fruit ices without fruit pieces
Fruit ices without milk
Honey
Jelly
Plain gelatin dessert
Popsicles

 

Foods and Drinks That Are High in Calories or Protein

This list may help if you need ideas for keeping your weight the same.

Types of Foods and Drinks Includes . . .
Soups Cream soups
Drinks Instant breakfast shakes
Milkshakes
Whole milk (instead of low-fat or skim)
Main meals and other foods Beans, legumes
Butter, margarine, or oil
Cheese
Chicken, fish, or beef
Cottage cheese
Cream cheese on crackers or celery
Deviled ham
Eggs, such as scrambled or deviled eggs
Muffins
Nuts, seeds, wheat germ
Peanut butter
Desserts and other sweets Custards
Frozen yogurt
Ice cream
Puddings
Yogurt
Replacements and other supplements Powdered milk added to foods (pudding, milkshakes, or scrambled eggs)High-protein supplements, such as Ensure® and Carnation® Instant Breakfast®

 

Foods and Drinks That Are Easy on the Stomach

This list may help if you have diarrhea or nausea and vomiting.

Types of Foods and Drinks Includes . . .
Soups Clear broth, such as chicken or beef
Drinks Clear carbonated beverages
Cranberry or grape juice
Fruit-flavored drinks
Fruit punch
Sports drinks
Tea
Water
Main meals and snacks Boiled potatoes
Chicken, broiled or baked without the skin
Crackers
Cream of wheat
Noodles
Oatmeal
Pretzels
Rice
Toast
Sweets Angel food cake
Canned peaches
Gelatin
Sherbet
Yogurt

 

Source: Cancer.gov