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Eating well after treatment

Eating well is important for everyone, including cancer survivors. Eating well will help your recovery by allowing your body to regain strength and rebuild healthy cells. It will also help you feel better overall and help you get back to your usual activities.

It’s also important for cancer survivors to eat well because they may be at increased risk for other health conditions, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis (weakening of the bones). Healthy eating and maintaining a healthy body weight can lower your risk of these and other conditions, including the risk of developing some types of cancer.

Many people wonder if changing the way that they eat can prevent cancer from returning, such as eating vegetarian or cutting out all red meat. For now, research hasn’t answered this question. But we do know that a healthy diet can help prevent some cancers from developing in the first place.

  • Check with your healthcare team about any food or diet restrictions that you may need to continue after treatment.
  • Talk to a registered dietitian for tips on how to create a nutritious, balanced eating plan or if you need to follow special guidelines.
  • If you lost too much weight during your cancer treatment, you may need extra calories and protein in your diet until you reach a healthy weight again.
  • Discuss alternative diets that restrict or make promises about a certain food with your healthcare team.
  • Don’t try to make dietary changes all at once, but slowly work back into your usual eating pattern.
  • Try to include healthy foods and eating habits as part of your daily routine. Canada’s Food Guide can help you make healthy food choices.

Vitamin or mineral supplements

The best way to get vitamins or minerals is to eat a well-balanced diet, which usually provides enough of the recommended amounts you need to stay healthy.

Taking a regular-strength multivitamin and mineral supplement for your age group every day is usually okay, but check with your healthcare team just to be sure.

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Facing the financial burden of cancer

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The Canadian Cancer Society provides helpful information about government income programs, financial resources and other resources available to families struggling to make sense of the personal financial burden they face.

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