Limiting Your Salt Intake
Canadians consume twice the recommended daily intake of sodium, increasing their risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and many cancers, including stomach cancer.4 The body does require some sodium to regulate body fluids and blood pressure and for muscle and nerve cells to operate effectively. Sodium is an element that is a component of table salt . Most of the extra sodium in our diet is from processed foods found at grocery and convenience stores, also known as ready-to-eat food, as well as from the food we eat at restaurants, especially fast food outlets. By cooking more meals at home, you can control the amount of added salt and follow in the footsteps of the Mediterranean people, who flavour their food with herbs, spices, onion, garlic, and lemon juice. More and more food companies are starting to offer âLow Sodiumâ and âNo Sodium Addedâ products as well, so keep an eye out the next time youâre in the supermarket aisle.
First published in the Inside TractÂ® newsletter issue 174 â 2010
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What Is The Typical Recovery Process After A Gastrectomy
The recovery process will depend on how much of the stomach a surgeon removes. Patients who undergo a partial gastrectomy can expect to:
- Spend three to five days in the hospital after surgery
- Lose weight for one month to six weeks
- Resume normal eating patterns three to six months after surgery
For total gastrectomy, patients can expect to:
- Spend five to eight days in the hospital after surgery
- Lose weight for at least two months
- Adjust to a new dietary normal over the next several months, as the digestive system heals
- Take a multivitamin, such as calcium and iron, to avoid anemia
- Take a vitamin B12 supplement
After surgery, many patients experience dumping syndrome. These symptoms happen a short time after eating, when food travels too fast into the intestine. You may feel:
- Abdominal cramping
Diet Nutrition Body Weight Physical Activity And Alcohol Use
Being overweight or obese increases the risk of some types of stomach cancer, so getting to and staying at a healthy weight might lower your risk.
Getting regular physical activity might also help lower your risk of stomach cancer.
Aside from possible effects on stomach cancer risk, staying at a healthy weight and being active may also lower your risk of several other cancers and health problems.
A diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables probably also lowers stomach cancer risk. Citrus fruits may be especially helpful, but be aware that grapefruit and grapefruit juice can change the blood levels of certain drugs you take. Talk to your health care team about this before adding grapefruit to your diet.
The American Cancer Society recommends that people follow a healthy eating pattern, which includes a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables and whole grains, and avoids or limits red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, and highly processed foods.
Alcohol use probably increases the risk of stomach cancer, so avoiding or limiting alcohol might lower your risk.
For more on diet, body weight, physical activity, and alcohol use, see the American Cancer Society Guideline for Diet and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention.
Studies that have looked at other dietary factors, such as taking dietary supplements or drinking tea have not led to firm conclusions when it comes to lowering stomach cancer risk. Further research is needed in these areas.
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Pancreatic Cancer Surgical Treatment Options
In addition to the above-mentioned treatment options your pancreas surgeon will likely make available to you, there is always the option of surgery as well.
As the most popular method for treating pancreatic cancer, the Whipple procedure is also the most successful treatment option available today for completely removing pancreatic tumors. In short, the Whipple procedure involves removing the top portion of the pancreas, duodenum, and common bile duct and reattaching them to the small intestine so normal digestion can continue.
If the cancer in your pancreas has extended beyond what the Whipple procedure can remove, your pancreatic doctor may recommend removing the entire pancreas altogether. Additionally, surrounding areas infected with cancer cells such as parts of the duodenum, stomach, gallbladder, and lymph nodes may be removed as well.
If the cancer is in the tail of your pancreas rather than the head portion, you may undergo a distal pancreatectomy instead in order to remove the portion of the pancreas affected by cancerous cells. In addition to removing the tail portion of your pancreas, your pancreas surgeon will likely remove your spleen as well.
Diet For Stomach Cancer
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Many patients are surprised, what can a diet help with stomach cancer? However, there is scientific evidence that the food used by patients can contribute to the acceleration of tissue repair and even the growth of a cancerous tumor.
Of course, one diet is unlikely to help with cancer. But complex procedures, surgical and therapeutic measures against the background of dieting significantly increase the patient’s chances of recovery.
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Total Gastrectomy Or Oesophagogastrectomy
If your cancer is in the middle or at the top of your stomach, you may need to have a total gastrectomy. If the cancer is close to the end of your oesophagus, where it meets your stomach, you may need to have an oesophagogastrectomy.
If you have a total gastrectomy, the end of your gullet will be joined to the top of your jejunum . If you have an oesophagogastrectomy, the remaining part of your gullet will be joined to your jejunum.
Tips For Managing Fullness
- Dont eat or drink too much at one time.
- Dont drink too much during your meals.
- Dont eat or drink too fast. Try putting your fork down between bites. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to realize that youre full.
- If youre having trouble having 6 smaller meals instead of 3 large meals, create a schedule with set times for eating and drinking.
- If you find yourself going back to the larger portions you had before your surgery, try making mini-meals or pre-portion meals ahead of time so theyre readily available.
- Avoid carbonated drinks .
- Avoid vegetables that may make you gassy .
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Limit Beverages During Meals
“Beverages should be sipped during a meal with the goal to drink most liquids between meals, not during. This will prevent patients from getting too full, leaving more room for nutritious foods,” Guterman says.
She also adds that protein shakes or milkshakes can be sipped throughout the day to both stay hydrated and meet nutritional needs.
Could I Get A Second Cancer After Treatment
People whove had stomach cancer can still get other cancers. They do not get second cancers at an increased rate overall, but they do seem to have an increased risk of cancers of the thyroid and small intestine.
Experts do not recommend any additional testing to look for second cancers in people whove had stomach cancer. Still, its important to let your doctor know about any new symptoms or problems you have, because they could be caused by the stomach cancer coming back, or by a new disease or second cancer.
Like other people, survivors of stomach cancer should follow the American Cancer Society guidelines for the early detection of cancer and stay away from tobacco products, which increase the risk of many types of cancers.
To help maintain good health, survivors should also:
- Get to and stay at a healthy weight.
- Stay physically active and limit time spent sitting or lying down.
- Follow a healthy eating pattern that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and that limits or avoids red and processed meats, sugary drinks, and highly processed foods.
- Avoid or limit alcohol. If you do drink, have no more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 per day for men.
These steps may also lower the risk of some other health problems.
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Treating H Pylori Infection
It’s not yet clear if people whose stomach linings are chronically infected with the H pylori bacteria but who do not have any symptoms should be treated with antibiotics. This is a topic of current research. Some studies have suggested that giving antibiotics to people with H pylori infection might lower the number of pre-cancerous lesions in the stomach and reduce the risk of developing stomach cancer. But not all studies have found this.
While its not yet clear if all people with H pylori infection should be treated, some research has shown that it might be helpful to treat people with H pylori who are also at higher risk for stomach cancer for other reasons, such as having a close relative with stomach cancer.
More research is needed to be sure that treating other groups of people with H pylori infection can lower stomach cancer risk.
If your doctor thinks you might have H pylori infection, there are several ways to test for this, including a breath test, a blood test, a stool test, and an endoscopy procedure, in which a biopsy is done.
Diet After Surgery For Stomach Cancer
Diet after surgery for stomach cancer should be as gentle as possible, in the first days after the operation, it is even possible to carry out a medical starvation .
Since the digestive capacity of the stomach after the operation is usually broken, not enough digested food particles can enter the intestines, which is manifested by discomfort in the stomach, nausea and other dyspeptic phenomena.
To prevent this, food should be taken in very small portions and drink at a time not more than 150-200 ml of liquid.
The percentage of protein foods in the diet should be increased, ensure sufficient intake of vitamins in the body. The amount of carbohydrates and salt, on the contrary, must be severely limited.
The daily ration after the operation can be approximately the following:
- eat breakfast meatball with rice porridge, tea
- have a snack with a patched apple
- Lunch half a serving of vegetarian grated soup, a little kefir or yogurt
- mid-morning snack – half a portion of shallow vermicelli with cheese
- supper with stewed vegetables with a piece of boiled fish fillet
- before going to bed – 150 ml of kefir or a bit of fresh cottage cheese.
In a few months, the diet can be gradually expanded, based on the recommendations of the doctor. After 1-1 ½ years, it is allowed to switch to regular meals . When switching to conventional diet, the ration is significantly expanded, but it is recommended to leave small portions of food and restrict carbohydrates.
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What To Eat During And After Treatment Of Pancreatic Cancer
While receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer, it is likely your body will suffer nutritionally as it attempts to fight the cancerous cells in your body or recover from pancreas surgery.
For those receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer, or those recovering from the Whipple procedure or some other surgical treatment, here is a nutrition guide of foods to eat when you have pancreatic cancer so that you can maintain a strong body while fighting your illness.
Just make sure to discuss any special dietary needs with your pancreas surgeon to make sure you are maintaining optimal health post treatment and receiving proper nutrition for pancreatic cancer. He or she can give you the most personalized idea about the best foods for pancreatic cancer.
Diagnosis Of Stomach Cancer
If your doctor thinks you may have stomach cancer, you will be referred for further tests. The main test is an endoscopy . The doctor will use a thin, flexible tube with a camera , which passes into the mouth, down the throat and oesophagus into the stomach in order to look at the digestive tract.
If any suspicious-looking areas are detected, a small amount of tissue from the stomach lining may be removed and examined under a microscope. Less commonly used is an endoscopic ultrasound where the endoscope has an ultrasound probe at the end.
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Foods To Eat During Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is a common cancer treatment that uses one or more drugs to combat cancer cells in your body.
Its symptoms, which may include dry mouth, taste changes, nausea, and fatigue, can make eating seem like a chore.
However, its important to eat a healthy, balanced diet during cancer treatment to keep your body functioning optimally. Foods that are mild in flavor, easy on your stomach, and nutrient-dense are some of the best options (
Do Certain Foods Fight Stomach Cancer
The incidence of stomach cancer has dropped significantly in recent years. Researchers attribute this trend in part to a reduction in dietary risk factors among the general population. Even so, stomach cancer still occurs. To help protect yourself, there are some preventive steps you can take, such as making a few simple changes to your diet.
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Mouth Sores Chewing Or Swallowing Difficulties
Soreness and tenderness in the mouth and throat are not uncommon. If your swallowing difficulties are minor, the following suggestions may help. You may need to work with a dietitian or swallowing therapist or consider alternative methods of feeding if you have severe problems.
- Eat frequent small meals and snacks to ensure that you are getting enough calories. Choose cool, smooth and bland foods. Soft solids and liquids work best.
- Cut foods into bite-sized pieces or grind them so that less chewing is required.
- Choose soft foods or foods that can be cooked until tender such as mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squashes , carrots, applesauce, ground beef or turkey and tofu.
- Consume liquid supplements such as Prosure, Ensure Plus, Boost Plus or shakes that can be made in your blender.
- Consider using a blender to puree the foods your family is eating. When adding liquid to process the foods, remember to add high-calorie liquids such as gravy, milk or soy milk, or broth instead of water.
- Drink generous amounts of nutritious liquids with meals.
- Be adventurous. Try new sauces, gravies, or different oils on foods to make swallowing easier.
- Try apple, cranberry, or grape juices or fruit nectars if you are sensitive to citrus juices.
- Keep some baby food on hand for something quick and tasty.
- Try drinking liquids through a straw or as recommended by your swallowing therapist.
- Avoid spicy, salty and acidic foods and beverages.
More Information About The Gastrectomy Procedure
A gastrectomy may cause lactose intolerance. Avoiding dairy products such as milk, creamy soups, ice cream, yogurt and cheese. You may still be able to eat yogurt with live, active cultures on the label.
Your body may not be getting enough nutrients from food alone. In this case, you may need to take fiber, calcium, iron or vitamin B-12 supplements. Iron can prevent anemia, calcium can prevent osteoporosis and fiber supplements may lessen symptoms of dumping syndrome. Ask your surgeon or a registered dietitian what is best for you.
If you experience rapid weight loss, talk to your surgeon or a registered dietitian immediately. Losing more than one to two pounds per week is rapid weight loss. Rapid weight loss is dangerous even if you are overweight. Your body may not be getting the nutrients it needs.
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Foods To Avoid To Prevent Stomach Cancer
The best way to fight stomach cancer is to prevent it. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information , Gastric cancer accounts for 783,000 deaths each year, and numbers have grown steadily.
It has become clear that what food today is not well received by our bodies, were not eating right, but theres a way to turn things around. By living a healthy, active lifestyle and eating fresh food, we can reduce the number of stomach cancer in the country.
Thankfully, theres lots of scientific research that now points out the most dangerous foods, so here are the foods to avoid to prevent stomach cancer.
Eating At Restaurants And Social Events
Food is the focus of many social events. Remember that portions served at events and restaurants tend to be large. It usually takes some time to get used to eating out at restaurants or attending events like weddings and dinner parties.
- If you finish an appetizer, you may find that you need to take your entrée home.
- If you skip the appetizer, try eating half of your entrée and taking the rest home. You can also share an entrée with a friend.
- You may have to choose either a small soup or a drink as your fluid allowance. Or, you can choose to have just a few sips of both.
- If you want to have dessert after your meal, you may want to take it home and save it for later.
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Taste And Smell Changes
- Avoid red meats if they taste metallic. Eat more chicken, turkey, dairy products and casseroles.
- When foods have less taste, try tart foods such as yogurt, lemon or orange Jell-O, or lemonade.
- When foods taste or smell funny try cold or room temperature foods.
- Try marinated or spicy foods such as enchiladas, herbed chicken or spaghetti if you do not have nausea, vomiting or mouth sores.
- Use hard candies to take away bad taste between meals.
- Maintain good oral hygiene.