Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mesothelioma Invites Proper Nutrition


Good Nutrition for Mesothelioma Patients

Richard Moyle, from  and National Awareness Coordinator for Asbestos, explains that exposure to asbestos is the only known cause of a rare and aggressive cancer known as mesothelioma. This type of cancer develops in the mesothelial cells that make up the lining of the lungs, heart and abdomen. The symptoms of mesothelioma take at least 20 years to become noticeable and by this time the disease has already progressed to advanced stages and is very difficult to treat.

While 35 percent of a cancer diagnoses can be linked to bad nutrition, mesothelioma is one type of cancer that cannot be prevented by a more balanced and healthy diet. However, mesothelioma patients can definitely benefit from better eating habits. Good nutrition can help alleviate disease symptoms and treatment side effects as well fight the cancer itself.

Nausea is one of the most common side effects of malignant mesothelioma and mesothelioma treatment. There are a number of dietary changes you can make to help this problem. Dry grain products like crackers and toast can help calm an upset stomach. Bland foods will also help with nausea, as well as acid reflux problems.

Garlic produces a chemical called allicin which can be beneficial for mesothelioma patients. While it seems to have the greatest affect on stomach cancer and prostate cancer in men, affects have been noted in all types of cancer and on different carcinogens. Animal trials have produced positive results. In one such study, a number of mice with cancer were injected with allicin. The control group (those not injected with the compound) lived an average of two months, while those receiving the injection lived an average of six months or longer.

There are also many kinds of berries mesothelioma patients can integrate into their diet to benefit from the cancer-fighting nutrients they contain, including blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, loganberries, cranberries. Berries contain a number of cancer-fighting phytonutrients like anthocyanins, ellagic acid, pterostilbene and resveratrol. In one study, extracts of six types of berries were tested for their ability to prevent the growth and spread of different types of cancer cells. Amazingly, each different type of berry was found to have an entirely unique combination of phytonutrients, and all six varieties of berry extract were able to kill cancer cells in the laboratory.

Another frequent trait found in cancer patients is low white blood cell count, which raises the risk of contracting an infection. To avoid this side effect, a number of changes can be made in the foods you eat. It is most important to avoid “bad” bacteria, which is common in foods that are damaged or not prepared well. Because of the low white blood count, avoid buffets when eating out, wash your hands before preparing meals, avoid raw meats and fish (like sushi), and throw away any foods that are bruised or damaged.

Cancer is a complex medical condition, with many dynamics playing various functions in development and treatment. However, most patients will undoubtedly benefit from a better diet in a number of ways.


  1. Great post, I had not heard much about mesothelioma. Cancer scares me. I had three grandparents who had cancer (two of them died from it). This is one of the reasons why I am an RD.

  2. oh its crucial to have an RD on any oncology team, I love working with oncology patients