Sunday 4 February, 2018 was World Cancer Day, the annual, global initiative in the fight against the global cancer epidemic. In the UK in 2013, according to recent statistics, 351,578 cases of cancer were diagnosed.
But behind these grim statistics, innovative work is being done by charities like World Cancer Research Fund to both reduce cancer risk, and support people living with a cancer diagnosis. Sarah James, World Cancer Research Fund’s Health Information Publications Manager, talks about their Eat Well During Cancer work.
‘For many years, World Cancer Research Fund has helped people lower their risk of cancer by providing tips on eating well, getting lots of exercise and keeping a healthy weight.
Our advice has always been aimed at people who are cancer-free, whether they’ve never had a diagnosis or they’ve been given the all-clear. However, we frequently receive requests for healthy eating advice for people currently living with cancer, and our research has shown that around half of cancer patients don’t receive any dietary advice that could help ease some of the side-effects of their treatment. It’s also true that there’s very little dietitian-approved information available that supports people living with cancer.’
As a result, the charity have produced their new Eat Well During Cancer booklet, which is endorsed by the British Diabetic Association (BDA). The BDA’s backing ensures that the advice is based on the most up-to-date scientific evidence and practical expert opinion. Eat Well During Cancer is full of practical tips, and covers a range of common side-effects including weight loss, loss of appetite, constipation, diarrhoea, sore mouth and change in taste – all symptoms that people suffering from cancer can experience.
As well as lots of tips and advice, the booklet also contains exclusive recipes – such as salmon with a nut and seed crust, gazpacho and a delicious, filling fruit smoothie – which shows how to put the advice into practice.
Since its launch, over 9,000 copies of Eat Well During Cancer have been distributed to people living with cancer and health care professionals who work with them. Many more people have downloaded it from the charities website.
Toral Shah says: “As a nutritional scientist and cancer survivor, I know it’s vital to eat healthily when undergoing treatment. The Eat Well During Cancer booklet provides key information and recipes to help cope with some of the side-effects people experience.”
Meanwhile, Christine Birnie, 59, who was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2009 says: “At the time when I was diagnosed and going through treatment, the dietary advice I was given was confusing. It would have been a great comfort to me to understand exactly what I should be eating and the benefits of eating well. I found that when going through the difficult experience of cancer, being as healthy as you can be is incredibly important to help you feel a little better. I would definitely recommend World Cancer Research Fund’s new booklet as its practical tips and advice fill a great need to help people understand how eating healthy food can really help when going through cancer.”
To download your free copy of Eat Well During Cancer visit www.wcrf-uk.org/uk/here-help/eat-well-during-cancer/