Breast cancer treatment troubles: Fighting fatigue with food


TREATMENT SIDE EFFECTS: A whole range of different breast cancer treatments now exist for women to choose from, but the treatments also have unwanted side effects. Certain chemotherapy treatments (especially the medicine Adriamycin), radiation therapy, Herceptin, Avastin, and some hormonal therapies can possibly cause heart problems along with breathing problems. Other side effects of various breast cancer treatments include bone and joint pain, kidney problems, liver problems, menopausal symptoms, appetite changes, vomiting, and many more. (Source:

MANAGING CHEMOTHERAPY SIDE EFFECTS: Chemotherapy destroys cancer cells with medicines that target rapidly dividing cells but normal cells in the blood, mouth, nose, nails, hair, and intestinal tract divide rapid rapidly as well so chemotherapy can affect them too, leading to certain side effects. Patients should tell their doctors or nurses about any side effects they are having because certain medications can help alleviate side effect symptoms and most should go away once the chemotherapy is finished, although some side effects can take months or longer to completely disappear. If medication doesn’t help and the side effects are severe, treatment may need to be changed. Overall, it is important for patients to weigh the benefits of treatment against the side effects with their doctors before deciding on a particular treatment. (Source:

 FIGHT FATIGUE: Many women experience fatigue after breast cancer treatments, but nutrition may help restore some of their vitality.

  1. Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day in order to maintain a stable blood sugar level.
  2. Eat low glycemic foods like whole grains, brown rice, oatmeal, and green vegetables.
  3. Avoid junk foods which will raise blood sugar and energy fast but then also cause it to drop just as rapidly, leaving the person feeling spent. 
  4. Dehydration is another common side effect from breast cancer treatments, so drink a lot of water and also fruit juices, like pomegranate juice, which will provide vitamins and other nutrients. 

* For More Information, Contact:
Stacy Bursuk MS, RD, CSO,
Medical Nutrition Therapist
Florida Hospital


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