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Cancer is regarded as a group of diseases characterized by an
1. Abnormal growth of cells,
2. Ability to invade adjacent tissues and even distant organs, and
3. The eventual death of the affected patient if the tumor has progressed beyond that stage when it can be successfully removed.

Cancer can occur at any part or tissue of the body and may involve any types of cells.Cancer control consists of a series of measures based on present medical knowledge in the fields of prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment, after care and rehabilitation, aimed at reducing significantly the number of new cases, increasing the number of cures and reducing the invalidism due to cancer.

Like most of the diseases, in cancer also diet do plays important role. The various modes of cancer therapy- surgery, radiation and chemotherapy all have nutritional consequence. Assessment of nutritional status of cancer patient is, therefore, essential in order to determine those patients who are likely to be at increased risk for nutritional problems during treatment, and to provide a basis for planning appropriate nutritional support.

Appropriate nutritional support can help reduce weight loss, provide an improved sense of well-being, and improve immunocompetence.

 Well nourished patients tolerate cancer therapy better than the malnourished.

  •  Well balanced diet adequate in calories, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals should be provided.
  • Diet should be bland, less irritating, and easy to swallow and digest.

  • Small frequent meals given at regular intervals are better tolerated.
  • Diet should be adequate in nutrient content so as to make up for the losses and to replenish the lost stores.
  • Protein helps in regeneration of cells but the diet should be coordinated well with the treatment regime or more so with the anti-tumor therapy so that the cancerous cells do not proliferate instead of normal body cells.
  • If the patient is not able to take food orally then tube feeding is recommended along with some supplementation if required.
  • Nutritional care of the patient require careful assessment of their food intake, eating problems, and special emotional and physical needs that must be addressed accordingly so that patient benefits from the dietary modifications.

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