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May we feed cancer?

Published on: 12th February, 2018

The patient with an oncological disease presents a series of discomforts related to the psychological sphere such as depression, pain, sense of usefulness, anger, but also inconveniences related to food sphere. Neoplastic disease interferes with eating behaviour for several reasons. The communication of the diagnosis can create a state of anorexia as a result of the shock; certain tumours of the gastrointestinal tract-gold (mouth, esophagus, stomach, colon and rectum, but also pancreas and liver) are directly responsible for the possible alteration of food intake; alteration in eating behaviour may be secondary to the main therapeutic treatments. The link between food and cancer is not only evident in case of disease, but also in case of prevention, in fact a growing number of studies indicates more an more clearly the close correlation between a healthy diet and prevention of oncological diseases although at present time it is not still possible to give definitive results. The diagnosis of a person is like a melody in which some notes are repeated but their combination is almost infinite, because each person has different eating needs, as well as different psychological needs, and the starting point for a good professional must necessarily be a ‘customized’ diagnosis. This ‘diagnosis of well-being’, tailor-made for each person, involves professionals in both the food and psychological and behavioural sectors, since the individual needs have to be evaluated globally. Finally, the professionals of human behaviour in food consumption, and the chemical and science processing experts, have the duty not to limit themselves to a single refusal against the use of certain foods, but framing the phenomenon in a wider perspective and, as experts of human health, to propose alternatives.
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