Hoag Family Cancer Institute is pleased to provide comprehensive nutrition services to cancer patients and survivors. The Cancer Institute dietitian team is dedicated to helping patients meet their nutritional goals and understand the valuable relationship between good nutrition and health.
Studies show that specialized nutrition support and counseling helps patients maintain energy, and complete treatment while preserving quality of life. Studies also show that dietitian intervention in cancer patient care helps to decrease weight loss during treatment, reduces breaks in treatment, and results in fewer readmissions into the hospital during treatment.
Hoag Family Cancer Institute dietitians work closely with patients’ physicians, nurses, therapists, and social workers to ensure complete care. The following are some of the services the dietitian team provides:
- Medical nutritional therapy before, during and after treatment Individuals with a variety of conditions and illnesses can improve their health and quality of life by receiving medical nutritional therapy. During the assessment and follow-up sessions, the dietitian will counsel the patient on behavioral and lifestyle changes required to impact long-term eating habits and health. This is recommended at all phases of cancer diagnoses—before, during and after treatment.
- One-on-one counseling: The registered dietitian will perform a comprehensive nutrition assessment, and implement a nutrition intervention using evidence-based nutrition, and will monitor and evaluate the individual’s progress over subsequent visits.
- Symptom/side effect management: it is normal for patients to experience burdensome physical symptoms from their disease and/or cancer treatment itself. Sometimes these symptoms require specialized care in addition to the patient’s primary cancer treatment. The dietitian will help patients and their family members work on reducing difficult physical symptoms, improving function and reducing disability.
- Tube feeding education and management: Tube feedings can make a huge difference for successful treatment outcomes among head and neck cancer patients. Tube feedings are a lifestyle change; however with practice, they can easily become a part of an individual’s daily routine. The dietitian thoroughly educates patients and their family members on the function of a feeding tube and its management from the time of placement to the time of removal.
- Group nutritional counseling through support groups and symposiums: Support groups and nutrition series lectures provide a collaborative approach to nutrition education. The group atmosphere encourages patients to learn from others and provides emotional support through a challenging time.
- Nutrition education to patients, family members and caregivers: Nutrition education is the primary component of the dietitian’s role at Hoag Cancer Institute. It is essential for patients to meet their nutritional goals in order to heal from therapy and/or avoid recurrence. The dietitian will provide written and verbal education tailored to each patient’s specific learning style. We encourage family members to attend for additional support, since often times it is a family member or caregiver who performs the shopping and cooking duties.
These services are all available free of charge to Hoag Family Cancer Institute patients. To learn more about Hoag’s Nutrition Services, or to schedule an appointment with one of the registered dietitians, please call 949-764-8369.