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Conquer Cancer Health News
Tips for Cancer Patients: Part One of a Series

What are the benefits of drinking water

Tips for Cancer Patients: Part One of a Series


Dietary Recommendations


The usual recommendations for a healthy, well-balanced diet are not the same for cancer patients and non-cancer patients. Non-cancer patients are told to consume lots of fruits and vegetables, whole-grain breads and fiber-rich cereals, and to reduce calories overall by limiting amounts of salt, sugar and saturated fats.


Dietary recommendations for cancer patients can be quite different, as they are intended to help patients build up their strength to better handle their disease and its treatment. A high protein, high calorie diet can aid a patient in their fight against the stress of their illness, as well as any side effects. Whole grains and other high fiber foods can worsen diarrhea and mouth sores, and patients experiencing these symptoms are often suggested to minimize these items from their diets. One of the most crucial recommendations concerns the amount of water that is consumed daily.

Importance of drinking water

Water is absolutely essential to the proper functioning of all the bodies systems. For most adults, 6-8 cups of water per day is ideal. This holds true for cancer as well as non-cancer patients. Anyone suffering from severe diarrhea or vomiting should make up for lost fluid by drinking more. It is particularly important for cancer patients who are receiving chemotherapy to be well hydrated. There are some medications that are toxic to the kidneys and keeping them flushed on a daily basis is very important. The following is an account of what happens when the body fails to get the needed amount of fluids per day, otherwise known as dehydration:



Dehydration occurs when the amount of water in the body falls

below normal, which, in turn, disrupts the balance of sugars and

salts (electrolytes) in the body. Many factors can lead to

dehydration, including vomiting or diarrhea, bleeding, certain

medications and a variety of diseases, including cancer.




         Increased heart rate

         Darker yellow urine (indicating that it's more concentrated than normal)

         Decreased amount of urine

         Dry or sticky feeling or appearance inside of the mouth

         Lack of tears

         Poor skin tone, or turgor (that is, when pinched, the skin remains tented, instead of relaxing flat again)

         Sunken eyes

         Weakness, severe lethargy


         Muscle cramps

         Intense thirst

         Pain in the chest and/or abdomen

         Cold, clammy hands and feet

         Blue mottling (blotching, streaking or spotting) of the skin of the hands and feet, or bluish cast to the fingernails and toenails




Anyone experiencing these symptoms should call their medical professional immediately.


Tips to assist getting enough water

         Carry a water bottle and drink throughout the day. Refill as needed.

         Set a goal of drinking 2 cups of water with every meal.

         Keep a water bottle next to the bed in case of nighttime thirst.




         Eat a diet high in protein

         Avoid fiber rich foods if troubled by diarrhea of mouth sores

         Drink 6-8 cups of water per day, or more!





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