Medical Nutrition Therapy

What is medical nutrition therapy?

Some cancer treatments can result in difficulty eating, weight changes, or changes to a patient's nutrition needs. Medical nutrition therapy, provided by a registered dietitian at Baptist Cancer Center, aims to optimize nutrition before, during, and after cancer treatment. Our outpatient nutritionist is a registered dietitian that is certified in oncology nutrition (CSO), who can help patients understand how cancer treatment affects their ability to eat, and how to stay well nourished, no matter what the stage of treatment.

Baptist Cancer Center also has registered dietitians on staff for all of the inpatient oncology units who take a proactive approach with patients by monitoring for weight changes and nutrition problems while patients are admitted to the hospital.

Who can benefit from medical nutrition therapy?

Baptist Cancer Center offers individualized counseling sessions for side effect management, difficulty eating, inability to eat, unwanted weight changes, and many other nutrition problems. The nutritionist develops individualized nutrition plans based on scientifically sound research to help patients achieve their goals. Finally, the nutritionist works with the patient's healthcare team to coordinate this nutrition plan with their treatment.

Patients may benefit from medical nutrition therapy if they are experiencing any of the following issues:

  • Unintentional weight changes
  • Poor appetite
  • Feeling full too quickly
  • Dehydration
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Taste changes
  • Patients who have difficulty absorbing nutrients
  • Radiation to any area of the head, neck, or digestive tract
  • Questions about a low bacteria diet
  • Medication related high blood sugar
  • Concerns about how to plan a healthier diet

We also have monthly discussion groups led by an oncology nutritionist, which cover a wide range of topics. Meetings are held the 3rd Monday of each month.

If you're experiencing any of the issues listed above, talk to your doctor about medical nutrition therapy at Baptist Cancer Center.