Foods to avoid during chemotherapy

Please feel free to read, share your thoughts, your stories and connect with others!
Nohogirl
Posts: 69
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:15 am

Foods to avoid during chemotherapy

Postby Nohogirl » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:38 pm

Hi All,

What were the foods you have been told to avoid during chemotherapy, specifically during FOLFOX?

We all know about the negative effects of chemo on the body, how it can not only kill the cancer cells but also the healthy cells in the body thus impairing one's immune system and disabling it to fight off future infections and/or increasing the chances of cancer reoccurrences.

Since my husband was diagnosed with cancer, one of the first things i had in my plan for him was the healthy eating , the opposite of which he has been doing all his life. I cut down if not eliminate his sugar intake, no beef meat except once a month, no processed meats, lots of veggies and fruits mostly organic, organic chicken, no eating out to avoid unnecessary MSGs and bacteria, probiotics, D3, B6, pure manuka honey in the mornings and of course juicing. The two main juices I would make for him daily were Carrot juice mixed with some celery, ginger,.garlic and Pomegranate juice.

Right before his first chemo infusion, my intuition told me to check ( where else if not ononline)l for possible interactions of carrot and pomegranates with chemo. And guess what?

Both carrots and pomegranate were found to be potentially harmful during chemo. As a matter of fact pomegranate was in the list of foods to avoid during chemo. Who would know?????

Carrots contain excessive amounts of Vitamin K . Vitamin K helps to clot the blood and because people on chemo are at higher risk for blood clots, carrot is exactly what we need to avoid during chemo.

Pomegranate seeds hold strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties due to their high content of hydrolysable tannins and anthocyanins. While consuming high amounts of pomegranate juice or extract can be beneficial in preventing cancer or inhibiting cancer growth, drinking pomegranate juice during chemotherapy may have adverse effects. Substances found in pomegranates can interfere with how the chemo drug works by not allowing the drug to be broken down and absorbed properly in the system.
Who would knew that what i thought was going to help my husband was actually going to harm him

Ouffff. So much to know and to be careful of.
04/18 DH 49 diag.stage 2A T3N0M0 rectal cancer moderately differentiated.
05/18 chemorad. (Xeloda) 28 days
08/18 Surgery- 24 cm including entire rectum out
Stage II T2N0M0 moderate to poorly diff. adenocarcinoma
0 of 15 lymph nodes
No PNI
No LVI
Clear margins
Regression Grade 3
10/29 Started Folfox

User avatar
Phuong
Posts: 1451
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:43 pm
Facebook Username: Phuong Ly Gallagher

Re: Foods to avoid during chemotherapy

Postby Phuong » Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:54 am

Grapefruit is another one to avoid. I suggest not eating his absolute favorite foods during chemo only because eating it with nausea may turn him off to it in the future. A bland diet was easiest for me to tolerate, supplemented by protein shakes.
Phuong
http://sonofamotherlessgoat.net/
dx'd Stage III Rectal (T3 N1 M0)
Now Stage IV mCRC

crikklekay
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:47 am
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: Foods to avoid during chemotherapy

Postby crikklekay » Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:36 am

We weren't told to avoid anything specific except for cold foods due to the Oxaliplatin, though I do second the try not to eat your favorite foods. It was my instinct to get his favorites to help him feel better during chemo, but that just made the taste change effect feel worse when that favorite turned to ash in his mouth. Do pay attention to nutrition and protein is very important. When he ended up eating liquids only due to taste problems he had nutritional issues due to the lack of protein and our Oncologist stressed the importance of making sure he got enough. Protein shakes and smoothies were a real life saver.
Caring for DH John, 41
DX: Colon Cancer, Sigmoid colon
Tumor type: Adenocarcinoma
Tumor grade: G2, Moderately differentiated w/invasion of visceral peritoneum
Stage IIIC
Positive lymph nodes: 6/22
Chemotherapy: FOLFOX (6)
12/17 ER and emergency surgery
02/18 Hospital w/ MSSA infected port, PICC line inserted, abdominal CT scan clear chest CT scan showed septic emboli & blood clots
03/18 Hospital w/ CDIFF
04/18 Chest CT scan clear
06/18 Colonoscopy Clear
08/18 CT Scan Clear, NEMD

cbsmith
Posts: 72
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 11:45 am
Location: New Brunswick, Canada

Re: Foods to avoid during chemotherapy

Postby cbsmith » Fri Nov 02, 2018 12:50 pm

Having done 12 rounds of folfox with oxi for all of them I will say that he should eat whatever he feels like eating. The taste of food will change, his mouth will be sore, etc so he should eat whatever makes him feel good and that he wants to eat. Getting enough calories to maintain weight is the key during chemo, regardless of the type of calories they are. I agree with not eating your most favorite foods when you are not feeling well because you will associate them with not feeling well.

In my opinion, during chemo is not the time to try and make a drastic change in someone else’s diet.
06/14-DX with FAP as 36yo Male
07/14-total colectomy, rectum removal, permanent ileostomy
08/14-DX Stage IIIC colon cancer KRAS mutant, MSS
09/14-12 rounds of FOLFOX
04/15-ended FOLFOX
07/15-CT showed one para-aortic lymph node, onc thought inflammation and said wait 3 mths
10/15-DX Stage IV, CT showed lymph node tripled in size and 1 small lung met
11/15-FOLFIRI + Avastin
06/16-lymph node is stable, now have a 2nd lung met
01/16-lymph node is stable, lung mets grown 2mm. Still on FOLFIRI + Avastin

hiker
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:15 am

Re: Foods to avoid during chemotherapy

Postby hiker » Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:37 pm

cbsmith, I completely agree. When I was first diagnosed I went on a strict diet. Only white meat, no sugar, no processed foods, etc. And guess what? I was absolutely miserable. I have always enjoyed eating. After several rounds of chemo I decided I wasn't about to continue going through that hell just to suffer more by not enjoying food. From then on, I ate everything I could get my hands on.

hiker
Colonoscopy 2/17, 5cm tumor descending
Diagnosed stage iv, liver mets 3/17
Colon resection 3/17
Told surgery not an option, get my affairs in order
Meet w/MSK team 5/01/17
Folfox(3rds) 5/17-6/17
Liver resection/implant HAI pump 7/17
HAI pump chemo(5rds) 8/17-2/18
Folfiri+Vectibix(11rds) 8/17-2/18
Spot on chest CT 10/17
Lung biopsy (that was fun) 11/17
Nocardia bacterial infection w/spread to brain (this is serious) 11/17
IV antibiotics 12/17-2/18
Oral antibiotics 3/18-present
Clear of cancer since surgery

zephyr
Posts: 136
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:31 am

Re: Foods to avoid during chemotherapy

Postby zephyr » Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:42 pm

I agree with cbsmith and hiker. My diet was already pretty healthy before being diagnosed but I went overboard at times afterwards (it was a control thing with me). Getting through this is hard, really hard, mentally and physically. It’s one thing to make general changes like limiting red meat, eating organic or incorporating more fruits and vegetables, but only to the extent he can tolerate it without it affecting his head. Moderation is the key. As a caregiver, you want to do everything - I get it and we patients appreciate our caregivers more than we could possibly express (I’ve spent 2 years trying). But mental health is a big part of getting through this. Better to make incremental changes than drastic ones. This is not a criticism - what you’ve done is very loving and truly commendable - it’s just a different perspective from
a patient, and suggestion to take it a little slower, that’s all.

Check and see if your cancer center has an oncology dietician. That would be the best person to help you with foods to avoid for particular drugs. I recall that mine told me not to drink green tea during one of my chemo cocktails.
Nov-2009 Early stage CRC found during routine colonoscopy
2010, 2011, 2014 Follow up colonoscopies, all clear
Jun-2016 CRC found during routine follow up colonoscopy, surgery, Stage 4, KRAS, inoperable lung mets
Aug-2016-May-2018 Folfox, 5FU & Avastin, 5FU, Folfiri & Cyramza
Aug/Sep-2018 YAG laser surgeries (Germany) on both lungs, 11 nodules (9 mets) removed

Nohogirl
Posts: 69
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:15 am

Re: Foods to avoid during chemotherapy

Postby Nohogirl » Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:13 pm

Thank you all. I agree with all of your comments and I admit that this is a very difficult time for my husband both physically and emotionally. My husband only had his first infusion and 48 hr. pump but he is already feeling weak, nauseous, mouth taste change, jaw pain and refuses to eat most of the time. I realized that this is not the best time for food restrictions or special diets. I'll be happy with whatever food he asks for (even unhealthy) as long as he eats.

I am also looking into protein shakes as some of you suggested. Any specific kind or brand you can recommend?

Thanks again.
04/18 DH 49 diag.stage 2A T3N0M0 rectal cancer moderately differentiated.
05/18 chemorad. (Xeloda) 28 days
08/18 Surgery- 24 cm including entire rectum out
Stage II T2N0M0 moderate to poorly diff. adenocarcinoma
0 of 15 lymph nodes
No PNI
No LVI
Clear margins
Regression Grade 3
10/29 Started Folfox

Soccermom2boys
Posts: 195
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:29 pm

Re: Foods to avoid during chemotherapy

Postby Soccermom2boys » Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:14 am

Just a tip, in the event he does have an appetite—Stouffer’s frozen meals can pack quite a bit of protein in them. Food definitely was a challenge at times during the infusion and pump days for me, but I was surprised at how much protein was in their frozen spaghetti and Mac-n-cheese meals when I pulled them out of my freezer trying to find something I could stomach. As previous posters stated, don’t worry too much on the specifics of the diet, just that he is able to eat. Soup is another great chemo meal in that it adds fluids to the diet which can be challenging to get enough of during the entire treatment process. Much luck to your husband—getting the first chemo finished was a huge hurdle, conquering the fear of the unknown!
8/3/15 Went in with a hemorrhoid, came out with a tumor
8/12/15 Biopsy from colonoscopy confirms RC (45 yrs old--zero family history!)
9/21 - 10/29/15 chemorad 28 tx (with Xeloda)
12/17/15 APR with perm colostomy
Pathology report stages me as IIIA (T2N1M0)--1/15 LN detects cancer
2/3/16 chemo port inserted
2/8-6/2/16 8 rounds of Folfox

zephyr
Posts: 136
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:31 am

Re: Foods to avoid during chemotherapy

Postby zephyr » Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:46 am

IMO protein shakes & powders are all over the board when it comes to taste and grittiness. Before you buy a large bottle or case, first try to find single shakes or sample powders to taste. The exception is when you buy it at Costco. Other retailers may also do this but Costco will let you return products you’ve opened. I’ve taken back powders & bars and explained that I’m a chemo patient and couldn’t tolerate the taste - no problem.

The Orgain brand has some pretty good pre-made shakes. The company was founded by an MD and cancer survivor. They claim to use only high quality, organic ingredients. There are regular (dark blue) and vegan (light blue) shakes. I personally think the dark blue tastes creamier and richer but I sometimes drink the vegan ones too. The dark blue are available at Costco in chocolate and vanilla. For the light blue (or single bottles) try a place like Whole Foods. They also have protein powders that are pretty good - not as gritty as some but not as creamy as the shakes.
Nov-2009 Early stage CRC found during routine colonoscopy
2010, 2011, 2014 Follow up colonoscopies, all clear
Jun-2016 CRC found during routine follow up colonoscopy, surgery, Stage 4, KRAS, inoperable lung mets
Aug-2016-May-2018 Folfox, 5FU & Avastin, 5FU, Folfiri & Cyramza
Aug/Sep-2018 YAG laser surgeries (Germany) on both lungs, 11 nodules (9 mets) removed

User avatar
Phuong
Posts: 1451
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:43 pm
Facebook Username: Phuong Ly Gallagher

Re: Foods to avoid during chemotherapy

Postby Phuong » Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:55 pm

I did Isagenix shakes with a big fat scoop of ice cream blended in for extra calories. Also, hydration is super important. I used H2ORS and still do. It was developed with chemo patients in mind. You should be able to contact them for samples.
Phuong
http://sonofamotherlessgoat.net/
dx'd Stage III Rectal (T3 N1 M0)
Now Stage IV mCRC

Lee
Posts: 5722
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Foods to avoid during chemotherapy

Postby Lee » Sat Nov 03, 2018 4:10 pm

Phuong wrote: . . . I suggest not eating his absolute favorite foods during chemo only because eating it with nausea may turn him off to it in the future. A bland diet was easiest for me to tolerate, supplemented by protein shakes.


Ditto

Especially regarding nausea. Once I was gagging down water, chemo nurse noticed it and told me to stop drinking water, find something else to drink. I enjoy my water today. I used to love Boca Burgers. Probably ate them at least once a week. Got nausea on them more than once. Can not eat them today without getting nausea. After a few yrs I realized I would never eat one again.

A found keeping food in stomach kept nausea at bay. Thus I ate several small meals (snacking) vs 3 large meals a day. Protein shakes are a very good idea. I always hit Burger KIng on way to chemo. Got en egg and cheese breakfast sandwich. Got me through chemo. Eating junk food is better than eating nothing at all, especially when you can't taste food much anymore.

Good luck,

Lee
rectal cancer - April 2004
46 yrs old at diagnoses
stage III C - 6/13 lymph positive
radiation - 6 weeks
surgery - August 2004/hernia repair 2014
permanent colostomy
chemo - FOLFOX
NED - 10 years and counting!

Nohogirl
Posts: 69
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:15 am

Re: Foods to avoid during chemotherapy

Postby Nohogirl » Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:19 pm

Thank you all. Hope you all had a nice weekend.

It looked like the worst days were the day of his pump removal and the 2 days following it.
My husband seems to be doing a lot better now and his appetite is coming back to normal slowly.
We'll see what happens after his second infusion. Fingers crossed.
04/18 DH 49 diag.stage 2A T3N0M0 rectal cancer moderately differentiated.
05/18 chemorad. (Xeloda) 28 days
08/18 Surgery- 24 cm including entire rectum out
Stage II T2N0M0 moderate to poorly diff. adenocarcinoma
0 of 15 lymph nodes
No PNI
No LVI
Clear margins
Regression Grade 3
10/29 Started Folfox

AppleTree
Posts: 240
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:16 am

Re: Foods to avoid during chemotherapy

Postby AppleTree » Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:56 am

Keep an eye out for thrush in the mouth. Boy, I got that alot and had to have a special mouth rinse.

I liked those pudding cups and little snack packs of peaches...because you do not have to refrigerate them. Room temperature Gatoraide. Cold protein drinks I would add powdered milk to and boiling water. The powdered milk kept it from getting watered down. I also drank warm instant breakfast.

I liked small portions of scrambled hamburger mixed in with white rice.

I would get badly dehydrated and had hydration at the hospital the day of disconnect and the next 2 days.

As others have said...something to eat is better than nothing to eat...so anything that he thinks is appealing. Even if it sounds weird!
Diag Feb 5, 2016 Age 45
3 cm tumor 5 cm from verge
Radiation + Xeloda pills - 3000mg 5x week
3/14 - 4/16 - 25 sessions
Shrank just over 50% L nodes 0/13
Remove rectum with temp Ileo 6/17
Reversal 7/20 due to infection
Acute hepatitis August. Chemo cancelled
June to September 2016 - 58 days in hospital

2017
6/16, MRI shadow in lung
Pet - 6.6mm Met in Upper right lobe
7/30 VAT surgery Mass General/Boston
8/24 port
8/30 - 4/28 Folfox. 12 rounds
2018
June CT shows new lung Mets.
July PET...CLEAR!

Nohogirl
Posts: 69
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:15 am

Re: Foods to avoid during chemotherapy

Postby Nohogirl » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:24 am

AppleTree wrote:Keep an eye out for thrush in the mouth. Boy, I got that alot and had to have a special mouth rinse.

I liked those pudding cups and little snack packs of peaches...because you do not have to refrigerate them. Room temperature Gatoraide. Cold protein drinks I would add powdered milk to and boiling water. The powdered milk kept it from getting watered down. I also drank warm instant breakfast.

I liked small portions of scrambled hamburger mixed in with white rice.

I would get badly dehydrated and had hydration at the hospital the day of disconnect and the next 2 days.

As others have said...something to eat is better than nothing to eat...so anything that he thinks is appealing. Even if it sounds weird!


Thank you AppleTree.

I think my husband also received hydration the day they removed the port.

Just curious. Were you told what stage were you before your chemoradiation?


Return to “Colon Talk - Colon cancer (colorectal cancer) support forum”



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Annie50 and 56 guests