While receiving radiation treatment, it is important that a mesothelioma patient keeps their body strong. Here are a few suggested tips for a patient’s mesothelioma diet during radiation.

  • 1

    Eat Protein

Image of eggs in an egg carton

Proteins help your body heal. They are used in just about every function of the body. Your organs, tissues, muscles, and hormones are made of proteins.

Eating protein helps a patient
  • Maintain weight
  • Stabilize blood sugar levels
  • Boost energy levels
  • Support muscles and bones

During radiation treatment, your protein intake may increase. Doing this will help your body to repair and heal afterward.

Tip: Some of the best sources of protein are found in chicken, fish, eggs, dairy products, and nuts.
  • 2

    Load up on Carbohydrates


Carbohydrates are essential to your body. They are your body’s main source of energy. Just like proteins, all of the cells and tissues in your body need carbohydrates to healthily function.

Eating protein helps a patient
  • With digestion
  • Regulate blood pressure
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Control sugar

Eating healthy balanced meals and snacks that include carbohydrates will help you build muscle and bone mass. It will also help you to maintain your weight.

Tip: A few great sources for carbohydrates are whole grains, dairy products, vegetables, and fruits.
  • 3

    Drink Plenty of Water

pouring water bottle into glass

Your body is made up of roughly 60% of water. Many functions in your body require the use of water, such as digestion and maintaining body temperature.

Drinking enough water helps a patient
  • Maintain body fluids
  • Energize muscles
  • Have healthy skin
  • Avoid constipation

Sometimes during treatment, a patient’s skin may react. It may become dry or irritated. Drinking water not only improves the skin, but it also helps to rid your body and skin of harmful toxins.

Tip: Keeping a bottle of water with you at all times will help remind you to drink enough water. If you get tired of the taste of water, you can try adding it to your favorite soup or shake.

What is Radiation?

Radiation is a form of treatment that a mesothelioma patient may experience. It works best when it is paired with other treatment options, such as chemotherapy and surgery.

Radiation works by shrinking and stunting the growth of cancerous tumors. It uses high-energy beams such as X-rays or gamma rays to target the tumors.

Some side effects that a patient may experience from this type of treatment are
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Dehydration
  • Difficulty swallowing

A patient should notify their doctor if their side effects from treatment cannot be tolerated. Their doctor will suggest the best ways they can manage their pain.

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    Sources & Author

  1. What are proteins and what do they do?. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved from: https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/howgeneswork/protein. Accessed: 09/25/2017.
  2. Eating and drinking during radiotherapy. Cancer Research UK. Retrieved from: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/treatment/radiotherapy/side-effects/general-radiotherapy/eating-drinking-during-radiotherapy. Accessed: 09/25/2017.
  3. Top 5 Ingredients Of A Healthy Diet During Radiation Therapy. Southeast Radiation Oncology Group, P.A. Retrieved from: http://www.treatcancer.com/blog/top-5-ingredients-healthy-diet-radiation-therapy/. Accessed: 09/25/2017.
  4. Protein Foods: 8 Health Benefits of Foods High in Protein. Dr. Axe. Retrieved from: https://draxe.com/protein-foods/. Accessed: 09/25/2017.
  5. Why do we need to eat carbohydrates?. Eat Balanced. Retrieved from: http://www.eatbalanced.com/why-eat-balanced/why-eat-carbs/. Accessed: 09/25/2017.
  6. What Is the Role of Carbohydrates?. SFGATE. Retrieved from: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/role-carbohydrates-6560.html. Accessed: 09/25/2017.
  7. 6 Reasons to Drink Water. WebMD. Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/6-reasons-to-drink-water. Accessed: 09/25/2017.
  8. Coping With Radiation Treatment. American Cancer Society. Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/treatment-types/radiation/coping.html. Accessed: 09/25/2017.
  9. Benefits of good nutrition during cancer treatment. American Cancer Society. Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.org/treatment/survivorship-during-and-after-treatment/staying-active/nutrition/nutrition-during-treatment/benefits.html. Accessed: 09/25/2017.
  10. Protein Needs During Cancer Treatment. OncoLink. Retrieved from: https://www.oncolink.org/support/nutrition-and-cancer/during-and-after-treatment/protein-needs-during-cancer-treatment. Accessed: 09/25/2017.
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About the Writer, Nicole Godfrey

Nicole Godfrey is the Senior Content Writer for Mesothelioma Guide. She writes and edits pages to make sure that mesothelioma patients and their families receive the most current and significant information about mesothelioma.