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Nutrition Services for Cancer Patients
Nutrition Services for Cancer Patients
Nutrition is an important part of life, cancer treatment, recovery, and prevention. Food is one of the few things you can be in control of during your treatment. The oncology certified registered dietitians at the Stanford Cancer Center are here to help you make informed choices about nutrition, answer your nutrition-related questions, and help you to achieve and maintain good health.
Care and Treatment
Nutrition for Colorectal Cancer Prevention
Check out our recipe gallery for recipes containing foods known to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
Certain risk factors for colorectal cancer can be reduced by:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Keeping physically active
- Making smart food choices
Step 1. Manage your weight
If you are overweight or obese, weight loss is an important first step in reducing your risk of colorectal cancer development and recurrence. This increased risk comes from higher blood levels of insulin and related hormones that appear to encourage cancer growth. Aim for a body mass index (BMI) of 18.5-24.9. Even if your BMI is far from the target range, a body weight loss of 10% can reduce your cancer risk.
Step 2. Get and stay physically active
Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity daily.
Physical activity does not have to be expensive or difficult. You can walk around the block or in a local park. You can ride a bike or join a recreational league. As long as it makes your heart beat faster and your lungs breathe more deeply, you will get the benefits of physical activity. Choose activities that you enjoy. This way you will be more likely to continue doing them.
Step 3. Make smart food choices
Plant-based, high-fiber diets that are moderate to low in red meat with minimal processed meat and alcohol have been shown to reduce colorectal cancer risk.
- Vegetables: salad greens, tomatoes, onions, broccoli, eggplant, carrots, etc. All varieties of vegetables have cancer-preventative properties so consuming a wide variety is the key. Research now shows that garlic is helpful in prevention of colorectal cancer so be sure to include it in your meals daily.
- Fruit: berries, melon, apples, pears, oranges, bananas, etc. Whole fruit gives you the most benefits, so choose the whole fruit and limit or avoid fruit juices.
- Whole Grains and Beans: quinoa, oats, black rice, barley, farro, wild rice, lentils, beans, etc. They are high in fiber which is protective against colorectal cancer. These foods contain many other substances that have been linked to lower cancer risk. It is for this reason that experts suggest increasing fiber intake from whole foods rather than supplements.
- Red meat (beef, lamb, pork): the type of iron in red meat and certain other compounds can increase cancer risk. For this reason, it is recommended to consume 18 ounces or less of red meat weekly.
- Processed meat (cold cuts, bacon, sausage and hot dogs): these items contain high levels of nitrates and sodium, which are both carcinogenic. It is recommended to eat processed meats rarely or not at all.
- Fast food: high in calories making weight management more difficult. Also high in sodium but low in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and fiber.
- Alcohol: alcohol turns into cancer causing compounds in the body. These compounds can also damage the cell lining of the colon. Avoid alcohol or if you choose to drink you should limit intake to 1 drink (12 oz. beer, 5 ounce wine, 1.5 oz. liquor) per day.
- Learn more about colorectal cancer.
- See more evidence on food, nutrition and physical activity in relation to the prevention of colorectal cancer.
- Check out Nutrition for colorectal cancer survivorship.
Adapted from: American Institute for Cancer Research, RP 1/2015
Cancer Fighting Recipe of the Week: Week 3
In honor of Colon Cancer Awareness month, we'll be featuring four colorectal cancer friendly recipes each week during the month of March.
Broccoli, cabbage, collard greens, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are all cruciferous vegetables. This vegetable family contains powerful phytochemicals, including carotenoids, indoles and glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, which have been studied and shown to slow the growth of many cancers.
Asparagus and Scallion Soup with Almonds
California Citrus Greens Salad with Garlic Dressing
Curried Chickpea Salad with Walnuts
Salmon Salad with Pimento and Herbs
Shredded Carrot and Beet Salad
Spinach Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette
Spinach, Red Bell Pepper and Feta Cheese Salad with Yogurt Dressing
10 Minute Italian Chicken Stir Fry
Barley, Turkey & Butternut Squash Casserole
Bean and Vegetable Enchilada Casserole
Cranberry-Turkey Salad Sandwiches
Crispy Parmesan Turkey Cutlets
Egg, Spinach, and Bacon Sandwiches
Fish Filet with Squash and Herbs
Grilled Vegetable Polenta with Pan Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Sauce
Halibut with Citrus and Garlic
Hearty Beef Stew with Winter Vegetables
Herbed Polenta with Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
Mediterranean Grilled Veggie Pockets
Molasses-Cured Pork Loin with Apples
New American Plate "Tetrazzini" Casserole
Peppers Stuffed with Barley, Parmesan and Onion
Quinoa and Mushroom Pilaf with Dill
Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Maple Mustard Sauce
Seared Scallops with Beet Puree and Arugula Salad
Soft Tacos with Southwestern Vegetables
Spicy Broccoli, Cauliflower and Tofu
Steamed Halibut on Spinach with Lemon Sauce
Summer Tofu Kebab with Peanut Sauce
Turkey Reuben Grilled Sandwiches
Udon Noodles with Spicy Peanut Ginger Sauce
Whole Wheat Pasta with Fennel, Peas and Arugula
PREPARE FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT
- Bring your photo ID and Insurance Card
- Maps, directions, parking, public transit options, and contact information
Ask your physician for a REFERRAL for a Cancer Center Nutrition Appointment
Our dietitians are available for 45 minute consults by appointment only, Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Download our nutrition appointment flyer.
Questions about your appointment or need to make a change?
For Health Care Professionals
Our dietitians are available for 45 minute consults by appointment only on: Mondays – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
HOW TO REFER
Call us at 1-650-498-6000 to refer a new patient for a nutrition consultation. If you wish to refer a patient to the Stanford Cancer Center, please call the Physician Helpline.
- Send referrals online
- Place radiology orders
- View referral status
- Access medical records
Questions about your appointment or need to make a change? Call: