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Can changing what I eat help me recover from my cancer?

What you eat can be very important in helping you get over cancer and its treatment. Many people lose weight when being treated for cancer and may need to put that weight back on. Other people may put on weight due to taking steroid treatment or not being able to exercise. 

If you are trying to put on weight, your doctor, nurse or dietican may tell you to eat all the things you used to try to avoid, such as cream and butter. Eating plenty of fat is the best way to regain weight! 

Once you are feeling better, a healthy diet may help you stay well. Doctors can't say for certain that eating particular foods will prevent cancer, or stop it coming back. But making sure your diet contains lots of fibre and vitamins and not too much animal fat may help. It will also reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. 

Aim for plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, high fibre foods (such as wholemeal bread), and fish or chicken rather than red meat. Cutting down on salt and sugar will also keep you more healthy.

There is more information about diet problems and cancer in the section on coping physically with cancer.

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Updated: 17 April 2013