Nutrition is one of those topics that keeps popping up. There is so much incorrect and scary information floating around (esp on the internet) about what cancer patients/survivors should eat. There is even a book called the Breast Cancer Prevention Diet. Let me tell you, once again, that there is no such thing. Don't you think that if there were a diet to prevent breast cancer that we would all be eating it?
Here is the bottom line about diet: When you are in the middle of treatment, either radiation or chemotherapy, it is important to eat enough protein. While the treatments are killing cancer cells, they are also killing healthy cells, and you need protein to build new ones. Beyond that, it truly does not make much difference (cancer-wise) what you eat. The usual suggestions about lots of fruits and vegetables and whole grains and less red meat and fried food (this one is tough since french fries probably are my very favorite food) apply, but not necessarily because this will have any impact on breast cancer. It is just that the standard advice about a healthy diet is just as important now as it ever was. Hoping and assuming that you are going to live a long and healthy life, you need to care for your cardiac health and try to avoid diabetes and all the other usual health risks that a poor diet, not enough exercise, and too many pounds can exacerbate.
My experience is that women on treatment retreat to their comfort foods--whatever they may be. There is a joke about the ideal chemotherapy meal being mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and stuffing. Some women crave spicy food. Others want anything with lots of salt. I liked egg salad with plenty of mayo. Whatever appeals to you is what you should eat.
If you want to read more, here is a link to a good publication (you can download it) from the American Institute for Cancer Research:
And here is a quote to give you a flavor of it:
Weight gain is not uncommon in cancer patients. Weight gain may result from taking a medication, such as tamoxifen for breast cancer or certain antidepressants. Chemotherapy may cause a false menopause, which is commonly accompanied by weight gain. For other patients, a change in eating behavior, due to stress, fear or depression, may mean an increase in food intake and subsequent weight gain. Some patients with nausea feel better when they eat more frequently or if they have something in their mouth most of the time. Fluid retention, which causes swelling (edema), may be another reason your weight may increase. Tell your doctor about any excess weight so he or she can determine the cause, especially if the weight gain occurs rapidly over a few days.