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Evaluation of dietary advice given to patients receiving external beam radiotherapy to the prostate with recommendations to curr - Essay Example

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Dietary Advice for Prostate Cancer Patients Receiving Radiation Therapy Prostate cancer is reported to be one of the most common cancers that develop among males; for instance, according to the American Cancer Society, one out of every six men will develop such form of cancer (Djulbegovic, Beyth, and Neuberger 2010)…
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Evaluation of dietary advice given to patients receiving external beam radiotherapy to the prostate with recommendations to curr
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Download file to see previous pages However, due to inadequate instructions and disagreements to such treatment and dose instructions, conflicting results have been obtained in relation to the appropriate practices for prostate cancer patients and their diet, bladder, and rectal volumes. Comparison between previous studies and application of findings into standard clinical practice have become a challenge that should be effectively addressed to ensure optimal health among prostate cancer patients who have been undergoing radiation therapy (Smitsman et al. 2008). Treatment for prostate cancer requires patients to obtain adequate nutrition through a well-balanced diet, although greater difficulty can be experienced due to the fact that the body is exerting effort in fighting the cancer. Moreover, it is also working ultimately for the repair of healthy cells which radiation therapy may have damaged. At the same time, radiation therapy can bring about adverse side effects which considerably reduce the patient’s strength and debilitate his appetite. As radiation therapy damages the healthy cells in one’s body along with the prostate cancer cells, this can cause irritation to the intestines. The intestines play a fundamental role in the intake of food and fluids into the body; thus, the irritation that can be experienced by the intestines due to radiation therapy will reduce its ability to process food and water, causing abdominal pain as well (Heemsbergen, Hoogeman, and Witte 2007). Intestinal irritation can be experienced during and after the radiation therapy with which its adverse side effects can be experienced for an estimate of 6 to 18 months after the duration of the therapy. As such, being provided with the most effective and suitable dietary advice is of paramount importance. On the whole, an increase in vegetable, fruit, and healthy grain intake has been suggested along with the reduction or complete avoidance of fatty foods, dairy products, high levels of sugar intake, and harmful beverages (Chan, Ghan, and Giovannucci 2005). Aside from dietary changes, certain medications are also provided to prostate cancer patients to alleviate the intestinal irritation symptoms attributed to radiation treatment, including loose bowel movements, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps. An enzyme in the body that is significantly affected by radiation therapy is lactose, which assists the body in digesting milk and other dairy products (Agarwal et al. 2008). Doctors or registered dietitians tend to recommend a diet that is low in lactose intake after the patient has undergone radiation treatment as it makes lactose difficult to be digested for a period of time. Compared to while milk, fermented milk products, such as yogurt and sour cream, can be more easily digested by cancer patients; cheese, puddings, ice cream, and other food products that contain high levels of lactose should be avoided. Because commercial foods can be incorporated with lactose, such as instant coffee, it is important that food labels are carefully checked. Foods that contain high levels of fiber, including whole grain and bran products, should be avoided as well as these can accelerate the digestion process and exacerbate bowel movements. A low-fiber diet can, thus, help in the ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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