Diet plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health and it can be a supportive component in managing certain health conditions but can it cure lymphoma? Lymphoma is a complex and serious form of cancer that typically requires medical treatment, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy or immunotherapy.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Nanda Rajaneesh, General Surgeon, Gastrointestinal Oncology Surgeon at Apollo Spectra Hospital in Bangalore, shared, “A well-balanced and nutritious diet can aid in the management of lymphoma, reduce treatment side effects, and promote overall well-being. Incorporating specific foods into one’s diet can be beneficial. Focusing on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help strengthen the immune system. Lean proteins, such as eggs, chicken, fish and legumes, support muscle health and recovery during treatment.”
He advised, “Avoiding processed foods which are high in artificial additives, sugary snacks and excessive red meat consumption may not be ideal during lymphoma treatment. These foods can cause inflammation and deplete the immune system. Patients undergoing lymphoma treatment may experience side effects like nausea, loss of appetite, and changes in taste perception. In such cases, a nutritionist/dietician can help the patient to develop meal plans that meet their specific needs, ensuring they get the necessary nutrients for recovery. A well-balanced diet will include fruits and vegetables such as berries, citrus fruits, broccoli and leafy greens. Complex carbs, such as starchy vegetables, beans, oats, quinoa, and other whole grains healthy fats, such as those found in nuts and avocados with a balanced portion of proteins, such as chicken, fish, eggs, tofu and lentils.”
Bringing his expertise to the same, Dr Bharat Bhosale, Founder and Director at Sunrise Oncology Centre, said, “No, diet cannot cure lymphoma. Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system, which is a part of the immune system. The treatment for lymphoma typically involves a combination of therapies, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy and in some cases, stem cell transplantation. These treatments are administered by medical professionals and are based on the specific type and stage of lymphoma. While maintaining a healthy diet is important for overall well-being and can support the body during cancer treatment, it cannot cure cancer on its own. A well-balanced diet can help manage side effects of treatment, support the immune system and improve the patient’s overall quality of life but it is not a substitute for medically proven cancer treatments.”
He concluded, “It’s essential for individuals diagnosed with lymphoma or any other type of cancer to work closely with their healthcare team to develop a treatment plan tailored to their specific condition. Dietary choices can be an important part of managing health during and after cancer treatment but they are not a cure for the disease.”
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