A cancer survivor is anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer, from the time of diagnosis through the rest of their life. Survivors in each of these phases have different needs and challenges with respect to diet and nutrition.
+ Expand All
Scientists agree that current evidence supports the following basic nutritional and physical activity guidelines for survivors, as summarized by the American Cancer Society:
Surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy can place special demands on the body, and getting through these treatments requires adequate intake of energy and essential nutrients to promote healing and recovery.
Nutritional requirements for people with cancer are designed to build up strength and withstand the effects of treatment. Cancer treatments can change nutritional needs and interfere with the intake and how the body uses food, but specific dietary strategies can help to minimize the negative side effects of treatment. (Negative side effects may include: undesired weight loss, weakened immune system, fatigue, and reduced appetite.)
During active cancer treatment, the overall goals of nutritional care for survivors should be:
Use these strategies if you're experiencing one of the following issues:
For information on food safety, visit