Nutrition is an important part of your treatment for stomach cancer. You need the right amount of calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals to maintain your strength and to heal.
However, when you have stomach cancer, it may be difficult to eat. You may be uncomfortable or tired, and you may not feel like eating. You also may have nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea from cancer treatment or pain medicine.
Tell your health care team if you’re losing weight or having any problems digesting your food. A dietitian can help you choose the foods and nutrition products that will meet your needs. Some people with stomach cancer are helped by receiving nutrition by IV (intravenous). A temporary feeding tube is rarely needed.
You may want to read the NCI booklet Eating Hints. It contains many useful ideas and recipes.
A registered dietitian can help you plan a diet that will meet your nutrition needs. A plan that describes the type and amount of food to eat after surgery can help you prevent weight loss and discomfort with eating.
Some people have problems eating and drinking after stomach surgery. Liquids may pass into the small intestine too fast, which causes dumping syndrome. The symptoms are cramps, nausea, bloating, diarrhea, and dizziness. To prevent these symptoms, it may help to make the following changes:
You may want to ask a dietitian these questions about nutrition:
Watch one of our cooking videos in the “Gesundheit Kitchen” with Foundation Board Member and “Chef without a Stomach” Hans Rueffert. Through this monthly series, Hans will teach us how to make some of the simple and nutritious meals that have helped him as a gastric cancer survivor. New episodes and recipes are added every month.
This information is not provided as medical advice. We urge you to consult with your physician regarding the most appropriate diet for your condition.