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Eating well during cancer treatment – a detailed guide

Find out more about the importance of eating a healthy balanced diet during cancer treatment.

The information is for you if you:

  • Are currently having cancer treatment
  • Will soon be starting cancer treatment

Why is it important to eat well during cancer treatment?

Cancer treatments disrupt the way cancer cells grow and divide but they can also affect normal cells. This can cause you to feel unwell. It is therefore important for you to aim to have a healthy, balanced diet during your treatment, to keep you as well as possible.

Why is it important to keep a stable weight during cancer treatment?

Research has shown that people who maintain a stable weight through cancer treatment live longer and have a better quality of life. It is therefore important to try not to lose weight during your cancer treatment. If you lose weight during treatment:

  • You are more likely to lose muscle than fat. This puts you at risk of poor mobility and may reduce your ability to do things that you enjoy
  • You may be more at risk of side effects, and your treatment may have to be delayed if you are not well enough

Read more about what you should eat if you are losing weight or struggling to eat well in the section on ‘Losing weight / poor appetite during cancer treatment’.