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Foodie Friday: Anti Side-Effect Recipes

It is important to eat small meals more often while undergoing conventional cancer treatments such as Surgery, Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy.

For those who are suffering side-effects such as dysphasia, sore mouths or nausea, consuming a nutrient dense smoothie for one meal and then trying some sun-dried fruits (without sugar) and untoasted nuts as a snack a few hours later is a good idea.

A lunch with salad greens, bitter herbs, apple slices, berries and a dressing made with lemon and olive oil, a pinch of cayenne pepper and avocado makes an exceptionally nutrient-dense meal.

This type of Ayurvedic diet plan will increase your sense of taste, smell, and appetite and help one heal and feel good.

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Dysphagia: A Hard to Swallow Side Effect of Conventional Cancer Treatments

As if it is not bad enough to suffer from cancer and have to go through all the pain and stress of the many tests, the diagnosis and the treatments, conventional cancer treatments such as chemo, radiation, and/or surgery come with lingering side-effects that make life very difficult.

One such potential problem is that it can become hard to swallow without experiencing significant pain − a condition known as dysphagia, in which swallowing is difficult and/or painful.

It is difficult if not impossible to ensure that your Child with Cancer gets the correct nutrition to help fight their cancer and heal their body during and post-treatment when it is so difficult and painful for them to eat. Read the rest of this entry

Coping with Swallowing Difficulties (Dysphagia) in Childhood Cancer

Swallowing DifficultiesSymptom Management, Palliative Care, or Supportive Care to relieve side-effects is an important part of cancer care and treatment and should always form part of the overall treatment plan.

Difficulty in swallowing is also called dysphagia, and occurs when an individual has trouble getting food or liquid to pass down the mouth or throat. Some individual may gag, cough, or choke when trying to swallow, while others may feel like the food is stuck in their throat.

One cause of dysphagia can be the cancer itself, especially mouth, throat, or oesophageal cancers, which can cause the passages to become restricted or narrowed.

Dysphagia is also a common side effect of some cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy, surgery, and, less commonly, chemotherapy.

Side effects of cancer treatment that may also cause swallowing difficulties include:

  • Fibrosis – scarring or stiffness in the throat, oesophagus, or mouth
  • Infections of the mouth or oesophagus from radiation therapy or chemotherapy
  • Mucositis – soreness, pain, or inflammation in the throat, oesophagus, or mouth. Pain associated with mucositis may worsen swallowing problems.
  • Physical Changes to the jaws, mouth, oesophagus, or throat from surgery
  • Swelling or Narrowing of the throat or oesophagus from radiation therapy or surgery
  • Xerostomia (dry mouth) – from chemotherapy or radiation therapy may also worsen swallowing problems.

It is important to distinguish between feeling like food is sticking in your child’s throat and food that is going the wrong way from pain while swallowing, in order to best manage problems with swallowing.

Your child’s doctor may refer your child to a speech pathologist to teach them how to swallow more easily and avoid choking and gagging while eating and drinking. It is often better for those with cancer involving the throat to meet with a speech pathologist to begin swallowing therapy before starting cancer treatment.


Read more about the Effects, Signs and Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment and more regarding Swallowing Difficulties on our static page, Difficulty Swallowing (Dysphagia) in Childhood Cancer


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