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Managing Nausea During Cancer Treatments

Navigating the journey of cancer treatment can sometimes feel like you're on a roller coaster with unexpected twists and turns. One such twist can be the experience of nausea, a common side effect of chemo or radiation for some individuals.

Despite this challenge, remember that your body is strong, resilient, and capable of adapting. This might mean rethinking not just 'what' you eat but also 'how' you eat. According to MD Anderson Cancer Center, managing nausea caused by cancer treatment is possible with the right approach and understanding 1.

The American Cancer Society recommends eating a snack or light meal before your treatment session 2. Columbia Surgery suggests that this can help in managing chemotherapy-induced nausea 3. If the thought of food feels overwhelming, try something simple yet nourishing like crackers, clear broth, or plain yogurt. Not only can these foods be soothing, but they can also help prevent nausea from worsening on an empty stomach, as per advice from Roswell Park 4.

And here's a little trick - keep your favorite foods off the menu when you're feeling nauseous. This strategy, recommended by Alberta Health Services, will help ensure that you don't associate them with feeling unwell 2.

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Remember, you are not alone in this journey. Each step you take, no matter how small, is a testament to your strength and courage. Through the highs and the lows, remember to listen to your body, nourish it with love, and trust in its resilience. You are stronger than you think, and every day brings you one step closer to better health.

In addition to these strategies, Mayo Clinic advises drinking lots of fluids, including cool beverages like water, unsweetened fruit juices, tea, or ginger ale that's lost its carbonation 5. You could also try clear, sweet liquids, ice-cold fluids, or even prune juice, as suggested by Cancer Research UK 6.

Sucking on hard candy, such as mints, ginger, or tart candies, can also help manage nausea and vomiting during treatment, as recommended by the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center 7.

Remember, these tips are not one-size-fits-all. What works for one person may not work for another. It's essential to communicate with your healthcare team about your symptoms and any changes in your condition.

1. Demarco. (2021). How to manage nausea from cancer treatment. MD Anderson Cancer Center, https://www.mdanderson.org/cancerwise/how-to-manage-nausea-caused-by-cancer-treatment.h00-159459267.html

2. Alberta Health Services. (2022). Cancer: Home Treatment for Nausea or Vomiting. Alberta Health Services, https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Health/Pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=tv3801

3. Gerszberg. (n.d.). 8 Tips for Managing Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea. Columbia Surgery, https://columbiasurgery.org/news/2015/04/29/8-tips-managing-chemotherapy-induced-nausea

4. Addiss. (2023). Managing nausea during cancer treatment. Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, https://www.roswellpark.org/cancertalk/202303/managing-nausea-during-cancer-treatment

5. Mayo Clinic Staff. (2022). Chemotherapy nausea and vomiting: Prevention is best defense. Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/chemotherapy/in-depth/cancer/art-20047517

6. Cancer Research UK. (2020). Other ways of controlling sickness. Cancer Research UK, https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/coping/physically/sickness/treatment/other-ways-of-controlling-sickness

7. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. (2022). Managing Nausea and Vomiting. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/patient-education/nausea-and-vomiting

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