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Dieting and Exercise During Treatment

While most people don't want to GAIN weight during their treatments, we don't want you to LOSE weight either.


  • If you are on any special diet prescribed by your family doctor (low fat, low salt, diabetic, etc) please stay on it.


  • There is no special diet for patients receiving radiation treatment (in general), so you can eat whatever you are used to.


  • If diet adjustments are necessary during the course of treatment, your doctor/nurse will have suggestions and information to help you.


  • You do not have to fast before or after your radiation, you may eat just before or after your treatments, unless you have been told otherwise by the nurse.


Please continue any and ALL medications you have been asked to take by your other physicians, UNLESS your radiation doctor asks you not to and tells you why.

A little exercise is good for everyone, but this is NOT the time to start a vigorous new workout regimen.


  • If you have a regular exercise routine (aerobics, jogging, walking, swimming, etc) you can continue it once your surgeon or radiation doctor says it is okay to do so.


  • Unless told otherwise, you can be out with other people (at the mall, at a concert, in school, etc.) as much or as little as you like.


  • Anybody can be with you (babies, kids, older folks, pregnant women, etc.).


  • You may become fatigued more easily, this is NORMAL.  Treat yourself to a nap if you're able to, or go to bed a little earlier (this will resolve a few weeks after the radiation treatments are over).

Dieting and Exercise After Treatment

We personally believe a healthy diet and exercise are some of the most important components to recovering after a cancer diagnosis.  It may take a few weeks and for some a few months following treatment, for you to regain your energy and feel like you are ready.  Be sure to ask your physician if you have any limitations or restrictions before you begin an exercise program.  Here are some tips to help as you regain your strength: 

  • Start slow and with plenty of time for recovery.  A good first goal for exercise can be some light walking, with an aim of walking for 10-15 minutes, for a total of 5 times per week.

  • When resuming your diet or beginning a new one, you may need to ease into it.  Radiation can have effects on your bowels that will make you sensitive to certain types of foods.  Ask your doctor or speak with our Oncology Dietitian to learn more.

In addition to discussing this with you after completing treatments, we are also big supporters of some of the available programs such as the Livestrong program through the local YMCAs.  Follow the link below to learn more:

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