Trying to maintain a well-balanced diet is extremely important during and after your cancer treatment, however, because your body undergoes a variety of changes during this time, eating the right foods sometimes can be a challenge.
That is why Registered Oncology Dietitian Anne Cox is an integral part of your cancer team at Genesys Hurley Cancer Institute (GHCI).
Patients may experience weight loss, loss of appetite, diarrhea, dehydration, swallowing problems, nausea, taste changes and many other side effects from treatment. Too much weight gain also may be an issue. Anne can help patients with any nutrition-related challenge, every step of the way during and after treatment.
Eating adequate nutrients with emphasis on protein, calories and fluid during and after your cancer treatments can help decrease your side effects, maintain a healthy body weight, keep your immune system strong and reduce your risk of cancer recurrence, Anne tells her patients.
“Studies show that adult cancer patients who eat a healthy diet have fewer breaks in treatment including hospitalizations and faster recovery times.”
“I work with patients to identify what their nutrition-related issues are, what foods they like and can tolerate and what side effects they are experiencing so we can devise a nutrition plan that will work for them,” Anne points out. “This is an ongoing process throughout their treatment,” she adds. “Appetites change and side effects change, so the nutrition plan is modified as needed throughout a patient’s care. That is why I meet with patients regularly.”
Anne also is available to help patients with any questions they have regarding nutrition and cancer information they have received or found on the internet, to help identity valid and credible information and sources. She also encourages caregivers and family members to participate in nutrition counseling sessions. “Caregiver involvement is another way to support patients, and helps reinforce the information provided, which ultimately improves compliance,” Anne finds.
Nutrition services at Genesys Hurley Cancer Institute are available upon referral or patient request. They include:
Individualized nutrition counseling and management
Monitoring of nutrition-related symptoms and concerns throughout treatment
Nutrition recommendations and support
General education on nutrition and cancer for patients and families
In addition to these free-of-charge services, Anne also conducts cooking classes and a 16-week weight loss support group – also at no charge for Genesys Hurley Cancer Institute patients.
To learn more about the services of Anne Cox, MS, RD, CSO, call Genesys Hurley Cancer Institute at 810.762.8226.
Weight loss class at GHCI
Registered Oncology Dietitian Anne Cox offers a virtual 16-week class – one hour a week – for post treatment cancer patients who are looking for a structured program to assist with weight loss and behavioral change. Nutrition, behavior and physical activity are core components to promote lifestyle change. Topics covered include setting goals, healthy eating, establishing new behaviors, improving activity, menu planning, and conquering triggers and cues. Attending all 16 sessions is expected as the success of the class depends upon member interaction (class time to be determined based on participant schedules).
Weight loss support group at GHCI
Anne also offers a virtual on-going weight loss support group for Genesys Hurley Cancer Institute patients who have completed treatment. It is a perfect time to talk with others experiencing similar weight gain issues, share their stories, learn from each other and find ways to make their weight loss journey easier and successful.
To learn more about the weight loss class or support group at Genesys Hurley Cancer Institute, call 810.762.8226.
Anne Cox offers a few general tips that may help cancer patients:
Eat foods that smell good.
Eat foods you enjoy so you will feel satisfied.
Choose foods that are high in protein.
Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and foods high in fiber.
Try new foods and recipes.
Eat small meals and healthy snacks throughout the day.
Try to stay as active as possible so you will have a good appetite.
Try smoothies, juices and soups if you don’t want solid foods.
Suck on hard candies if you have a dry mouth or a bad taste in your mouth.
Try not to skip any meals; eating small meals several times a day may help.
About Anne Cox
Anne Cox, MS, RD, CSO, joined Genesys Hurley Cancer Institute multidisciplinary team in 2009. She has been a registered dietitian for 25 years and has been board certified in oncology nutrition for 11 years. She also is an American College of Exercise (ACE) certified health coach.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to accompany our patients through their cancer treatment and offer ongoing nutrition support to help them reduce their risk of cancer recurrence. As a former hospice dietitian, I focus on quality of life as an integral part of the care I provide. Seeing patients through a holistic lens has helped me better understand their needs, which helps me develop the best possible nutritional intervention for each individual.”