Monday, March 12, 2007

Cancer Treatment

Cancer and its treatment weaken the body's immune system by affecting the blood cells that protect us against disease and germs. As a result, your body cannot fight infection, foreign substances, and disease as well as a healthy person’s body can.

During the course of your treatment for cancer, there will be times when your body will not be able to protect you as well. While your immune system is recovering, you may be told to limit your exposure to possible infection-causing organisms. For example, you may need to avoid some foods that are likely to harbor high levels of bacteria.

Nutrition suggestions for people with weakened immune systems: The following dietary suggestions, developed by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, were developed for patients with decreased immune function cause by chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Typically, these suggestions were used by their bone marrow transplant patients who had extremely weakened immune systems.

The purpose of these diet suggestions is to help you avoid specific foods that are more likely to contain infection-causing organisms while allowing you healthy food choices. Certainly, you may not need to follow this diet during your entire cancer treatment. You can talk with your doctor or nurse about these suggestions and about whether and when you should be following this diet.


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