American Academy For Yoga in Medicine

Dietary interventions and yoga for cancer survivors

Cancer is a formidable adversary, wreaking havoc on the lives of millions worldwide. From the moment of diagnosis, the journey through treatment can feel like a rollercoaster of physical, psychological, and emotional challenges. The statistics are staggering—more than 1.6 million new cases are diagnosed annually in the US alone, with global numbers rising. It’s estimated that a third of women and half of men will confront cancer in their lifetime. Despite advances in treatment, the quest for a cure remains elusive, and conventional interventions often come with hefty price tags and unwelcome side effects.
Enter the world of complementary and integrative medicine (CAM), a realm that’s increasingly capturing attention and respect. CAM encompasses diverse practices, from acupuncture to yoga, offering alternatives or complements to conventional treatments. With about 38% of Americans turning to CAM to manage various health issues, including cancer, the demand and interest are undeniable. Yoga, in particular, has emerged as a star player in integrative medicine. Originating from ancient traditions, yoga’s holistic approach to physical and mental health has gained traction worldwide. Despite its proven benefits, integration of yoga into mainstream healthcare remains limited, but its potential to enhance the well-being of cancer patients is immense.
When cancer treatment throws your body for a loop, keeping up with nutrition can be tough. That’s where nutrition therapy swoops in to save the day, like a superhero for your health. This therapy involves a whole team, including your doctor, nurse, social worker, and of course, a registered dietitian. They’re like your squad, working together to make sure you’re getting the right nutrients to keep you strong during treatment.
First off, they’ll ask you questions about your diet and how your weight has been doing lately. If you’ve been feeling off, like having no appetite, feeling sick, or just not enjoying food like you used to, they want to know. They’ll also check if you’re showing any signs of weight loss or if there’s any fluid buildup in your body. It’s like they’re detectives, trying to figure out the best plan for you.
Then, the dietitian steps in and helps you figure out what to eat. Sometimes, they’ll suggest changes to your diet, like eating more protein or smaller meals throughout the day. They might recommend specific foods or even certain ways of eating, like using a straw or having foods at a certain temperature. It’s all about finding what works best for you.

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