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Cancer of the Pancreas

  • Posted: 07/14/2010

Nutrition

Nutrition is an important part of your care. Getting the right nutrition can help you feel better and have more strength. However, pancreatic cancer and its treatment may make it hard for you to digest food and to maintain your weight. You may not feel like eating for a variety of reasons, such as feeling tired or feeling full soon after eating.

You may find it helpful to work with a dietitian. A dietitian can help you choose foods and nutrition products that will meet your needs and can make you feel more comfortable with eating. Your health care team will check you for weight loss and ask whether you are having problems with nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. If your nutrition problems do not get better quickly enough, you may be offered another way of getting nutrition, such as a feeding tube.

For general information about nutrition during cancer treatment, you may want to read the NCI booklet Eating Hints. It contains useful ideas and recipes.

Nutrition after Surgery

After surgery, your health care team will check you for problems with digestion or with your blood sugar level, and they will help you manage such changes. If you have problems with digestion, you may need to take a supplement to replace the digestive enzymes that are normally made by the pancreas. You may also need to take minerals and vitamins. If you have problems with the sugar level in your blood, you may need to take medicine to control blood sugar.