Diet and weight issues

Issues affecting ability to eat, including swallowing difficulties, and concerns with weight, are very common among cancer survivors. The side effects of cancer treatment can make eating and drinking difficult, and can take away the enjoyment of meal times.

Not eating enough to provide adequate nourishment can lead to low muscle strength, weakened immune system and fatigue. Learning how to manage these symptoms and have a nourishing diet can help people have a better quality of life.

Other people have issues with excess weight gain after cancer treatment. Having a healthy weight in survivorship is important for maintaining overall health and quality of life.

Information for cancer survivors and their families

Guidance documents

Additional resources for health professionals

Projects

CanEAT

Supported by the Victoria Government, the CanEAT Pathway is a guide to optimal cancer nutrition for people with cancer, carers and health professionals. It is an evidence-based care pathway to guide and improve the provision of nutritional care of people with cancer, throughout the care continuum, in particular the transition from acute treatment, into recovery and survivorship.

This pathway has been co-designed to help people with cancer, carers and health professionals achieve and deliver optimal nutrition care. It will provide and link you with reliable information, resources and tools and provide some practical tips that will help you along the way.

Principal Investigator: Ms Jenelle Loeliger

For more information, please email [email protected]

If you would like to advise of any relevant projects or provide feedback please email, ACSC. 

Clinical services at Peter Mac Parkville 

The following services are available to patients of Peter Mac, Parkville. If you are treated elsewhere, please speak with your oncology team, as you may have different clinical service options.

  • Nutrition and Dietetic services Dietitians can help to determine effective nutrition interventions and management strategies to manage difficulties with eating and drinking, to improve nutritional intake before, during and after cancer treatment.
  • Speech Pathology services The speech pathology team assess and treat a wide range of speech, swallowing and communication difficulties.
  • Physiotherapy and Exercise Physiology Services Exercise Physiologists and Physiotherapists address functional decline before, during and after cancer treatment. Exercise Physiology and Physiotherapy are Allied Health services who work closely with each other, as well as with Occupational Therapy.
  • Optimisation clinic This multidisciplinary outpatient clinic is for cancer survivors with complex needs and includes a dietitian and physiotherapist.

Other clinical services in the Parkville precinct 

Peter Mac is also part of the Parkville precinct (Royal Melbourne Hospital, Royal Women’s Hospital), with services listed separately, above. If you would like to advise of any relevant services or provide feedback please email, ACSC. If you are treated elsewhere, please speak with your oncology team, as you may have different clinical service options.