Caregiving > Nutrition & Diet > Nutrition for Palliative Patients

As malignant mesothelioma becomes more advanced, more nutrition-related side effects may occur. Eating less solid food is common in advanced cancer, and patients generally prefer more soft foods and clear liquids. At this point, food should be looked at as a source of enjoyment, and not be just about calories, protein, and other nutrient needs. Dietary restrictions should be considered in terms of quality of life and the patient's wishes. Following are several types of diets which may apply during the course of your illness:

Clear Liquid Diet

Full Liquid Diet

Soft Foods Diet

Following are some of the most common symptoms associated with advanced cancer:

  • Cachexia, a wasting syndrome that causes weakness and loss of weight, fat, and muscle
  • Weight loss of more than 10% of normal body weight
  • Feeling too full to eat enough food
  • Bloating
  • Anorexia, the loss of appetite or the loss of the desire to eat
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Taste changes
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Inability to swallow

Nutritional Support

When the patient can no longer accept traditional nutrition, decisions may have to be made regarding nutritional support, and the potential benefits and risks should be evaluated by the patient, his/her family, and the health care team. Some issues to consider are whether the patient's quality of life will be improved by providing nutritional support, whether the benefits outweigh the risks, and whether the patient has an advanced directive specifying his/her wishes or giving a power of attorney to another party should he/she not be able to make their wishes known.

Click here for a glossary of terms related to cancer nutrition.

American Institute for Cancer Research - nutrition for cancer patients

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