I often find research articles about what to eat while taking chemo, but, until now, none about what to eat when getting radiation.
I don’t remember having an extensive food discussion with my radiation oncologist during treatment for my first breast cancer 14 years ago. His advice about what to eat was limited to… lots of protein. I do remember having a discussion about using supplements and over -the-counter medications while in treatment.
The following article comes from http://foodforbreastcancer.com.
What should breast cancer patients eat during radiation treatment?
Radiation can result in side effects such as short-term fatigue, short-term and long-term skin damage. While obtaining relief from these side effects obviously is desirable, it is very important for breast cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment to avoid consuming foods or taking supplements that will lessen the cytotoxic impact of radiation on breast cancer cells.Therefore, the strategy we recommend during radiation treatment is to consume the foods recommended below, as well as those listed on the bland radiation diet (also below), while limiting or avoiding the foods that should not be consumed during radiation.
Foods that enhance the effectiveness of radiation treatment
The following are good sources of compounds (apigenin, curcumin, epigallocatechin-gallate (EGCG), quercetin, resveratrol, melatonin and vitamin D) that have been shown to increase the anti-cancer effects of radiation treatment (i.e., to increase the cancer cells’ radiosensitivity) or, in the case of flaxseed, to protect against radiation damage without reducing its effectiveness:
- Bell peppers
- Bok choy
- Cherries, especially sour or tart
- Grapes and grape juice, red
Bland diet for use during radiation treatment
The list below de-emphasizes high-antioxidant and antimutagenic foods such as brightly colored fruits and vegetables, while featuring bland, as well as somewhat bitter-tasting foods, that do not promote cancer (when consumed in moderation). It is important not to drive up blood sugar and insulin levels with high carbohydrate/low fiber meals. Select as wide a variety of these foods as possible and consume any one of them in moderation in addition to the foods recommended above.
- Almonds, skinless
- Apples, yellow
- Beans, white
- Bread, whole grain
- Chicken, organic
- Coconut, raw
- Green beans