Diet and weight issues

Issues affecting the ability to eat are quite common among cancer survivors. This can include swallowing difficulties and concerns with weight. The side effects of cancer treatment can make eating and drinking difficult. This can take away the enjoyment of mealtimes.

Not eating enough means inadequate nourishment. This can lead to low muscle strength, weakened immune system and fatigue. We can help you manage these symptoms and have a nourishing diet. This will lead to a better quality of life. 

Some people have issues with excess weight gain after cancer treatment. Having a healthy weight in survivorship is important. It helps you keep better health and quality of life. 

Information for cancer survivors and their carers 

  • CanEAT Pathway, a guide to the best cancer nutrition for people with cancer, carers, and health professionals, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.  

  • Xerostomia (dry mouth) and oral mucositis (sore gums) fact sheets (PDF), Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Dental Oncology 

  •  ‘How do I do that again?’ videos on administering feeds and medications via a nasogastric (NGT) feeding tube or Gastrostomy (PEG) feeding tube, and how to thicken fluids, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Western and Central Melbourne Integrated Cancer Service 

Clinical services at Peter Mac Parkville campus 

The following services are available to our Parkville patients. Please speak with your oncology team if you are being treated elsewhere. You may have different clinical service options. 

  • Nutrition and Dietetic services: Dietitians can help to find effective nutrition interventions and management strategies. These can help you manage difficulties with eating and drinking. This improves nutritional intake before, during and after cancer treatment. 

  • Speech Pathology services: The speech pathology team assess and treat a wide range of difficulties. These include difficulties with speech, swallowing and communication. 

  • Physiotherapy services: Physiotherapists and exercise physiologists can help with mobility and physical function. They can help before, during and after cancer treatment. 

  • Optimisation clinic: This multidisciplinary outpatient clinic is for cancer survivors with complex needs. Services include a dietitian, psychologist, physiotherapist, and occupational therapist. Speak to your treating team to be referred to this clinic. 

Other clinical services in the Parkville precinct  

Peter Mac is part of the Parkville precinct. This includes Royal Melbourne Hospital, Royal Women’s Hospital. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to tell us of any relevant services or send feedback. Please speak with your oncology team if you are being treated elsewhere. You may have different clinical service options.