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Managing Treatment Side-Effects -Dr. Veronica McLymont

By Elaine Guinan on September 6, 2018

Dr. Veronica McLymont is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist specializing in oncology nutrition. She is currently the Director of Food and Nutrition Services at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, noted for its innovative approach to serving the nutritional needs of cancer patients. Dr. McLymont is the author of a chapter on “Nutrition Care of the Cancer Patient” in a Cancer Rehabilitation text book, and has co-authored several research articles.  For National Nutrition Month, we spoke with Dr. McLymont about her extensive career in the field of nutrition and oncology.

Dr Veronica McLymont - cook for your lifeWhat is one thing that most people should be aware of when it comes to nutrition and their cancer diagnosis?

The one nutrition-related thing that patients should be aware of when facing a cancer diagnosis as noted earlier, is that the disease itself and its treatments such as medications, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, can adversely disrupt their desire and/or ability to eat. Nutrition is an important part of cancer care.  Without proper nutrition, patients often experience weight loss and weakened immune system which makes healing and recovery difficult.

During cancer treatment, particularly chemo, many people’s sense of taste changes. Do you have any advice for people going through this?

Changes in taste or loss of taste sensation including metallic taste are common side effects of chemotherapy. Patients should try foods that look, smell and taste good.

Patients should:

What are the main things cancer patients can do to prevent re-occurrence?

Although there is no guarantee that one can prevent re-occurrence, there are things that health experts like the American Cancer Society suggest cancer survivors can do. These include following a healthy diet, and exercise. For example:

Check out part 1 of our interview with Dr McLymont here.

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