Pulled teeth, metallic taste, nausea hamper cancer patients' ability to eat during treatment — when food matters most
Dale Counihan had to have four molars pulled before he could begin radiation treatment. Cheryl Juen stopped drinking her favorite teas because chemotherapy makes them unpalatable. Sue Kirk couldn't even taste the foods she ate during months of cancer treatment.
Struggles to eat while battling cancer come at a time when patients need food the most.
"We’re finding more research that losing even 5% of body weight can impact recovery," said Stephanie Nelson, oncology clinical dietitian for HSHS St. Vincent Hospital Cancer Centers in Green Bay.
Andrea Wagner, a clinical nutrition supervisor for Aspirus Riverview Hospital and Clinics in Wisconsin Rapids, works with cancer patients who experience weight loss, changes in taste or eating habits, or if the patient asks to talk with a dietitian.