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Foods to Avoid with a Bowel Cancer Diagnosis
As with any cancer, bowel cancer requires patients to have specific lifestyle changes, with diet being a primary example. Knowing what foods are a risk factor and which can help when someone has been diagnosed are essential.
When we treat patients at OneWelbeck, we provide an end-to-end patient experience that not only looks at treatment, but lifestyle aspects, including diet.
Let’s take a look at the role food plays when considering a bowel cancer diagnosis.
What foods can cause bowel cancer?
There isn’t a specific food which is an automatic warning that someone will get bowel cancer, but there are diet choices which, when compounded with other factors, can aide in the development of the illness.
If someone has a low-fibre, high-fat diet, it may pose a risk. A lot of red meat and processed meat also isn’t great for the bowel and colon.
Why would changing diet matter when someone has bowel cancer?
It is best to think about what the body is up against. With it having a hard time fighting cancer, someone would want to avoid undue stress on the digestive system, especially if they’ve had bowel surgery as one of the treatments.
Digestive habits will play up a lot during treatment too. A patient will find themselves having to visit the toilet more often, and that high-fibre food will give them looser stools during a movement.
What foods should be avoided after a bowel cancer diagnosis?
The less processed, the better as far as diet is concerned. Red meat and processed meat need to be replaced, as does anything with sugar, saturated fats, and fried foods.
Processed doesn’t just refer to meat products. It also includes the likes of fizzy pop, sweets, and desserts.
It’s also a given that someone should completely cut out alcohol and smoking.
What foods should be eaten after a bowel cancer diagnosis?
There are two things a bowel cancer patient will want to increase in their diet after diagnosis: fibre and protein.
Fibre can be sourced from more than just cereal in the morning. Nuts, seeds and some fruits make for great snacks that bolster fibre intake.
Protein can be sourced from fish and chicken, as well as cupboard staples like beans and chickpeas.
It is also a good time to get the pantry stocked with mild herbs. Some treatments have the effect of tampering with a patient’s taste buds, and mild herbs & spices help to bring some flavour in, while keeping the need for salt to a minimum.
What other aspects of a diet change?
Patients need to be hydrated to help aid digestion. Making sure enough water is drank helps a lot, especially if the person was prone to drinking fizzy pop a lot.
When it comes to specific changes, the team at OneWelbeck will provide diet and nutritional advice to aid with treatment.
Want more information on bowel cancer?
Visit our bowel cancer page, where you will find information on the causes and symptoms, along with information regarding diagnosis and treatment at OneWelbeck.