Pay Attention to Nutrition Before Mesothelioma Surgery

Whether your mesothelioma surgeon has suggested a pleurectomy/decortication or the more aggressive extrapleural pneumonectomy surgery, there’s a good chance that you’re nervous, scared and trying to figure out what you can do to maximize your chances of coming through the surgery with flying colors. Though your nerves (and chemotherapy treatments) may have cut your appetite down to kid size, paying attention to the fuel you’re providing your body is one of the best ways that you can fortify and strengthen your immune system and your ability to bounce back as quickly as possible.

Pay attention to macronutrient intake for maximum benefit

Good nutrition is always important, but perhaps never so much as when you’re fighting malignant mesothelioma.  Your diet may feel like the last thing you want to attend to right now – in fact, you may want to resort to comfort eating, and you’d have every right. We’re not talking about counting calories or losing weight – instead, the emphasis is placed on getting the right macronutrients so that your body can rebuild after the trauma of major surgery.

You should be paying attention to three major things:

  • Staying hydrated
  • Getting enough calories and nutrients
  • Taking in plenty of protein to help maintain and rebuild muscle and tissue

These goals may seem simple, but can be a particular challenge to achieve when you’re not feeling well and just don’t feel like eating. If that describes you, then your focus needs to be on making sure that the foods that you do manage to eat are the most nutrient-rich and offer you the most benefit. Try to make sure that you’re eating the following foods, each and every day:

  • Lean protein
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Healthy fats
  • Whole grains

Mesothelioma treatment can affect your appetite

If your appetite has suffered as a result of your malignant mesothelioma treatment regimen, or if you’ve lost your taste for food, then turning to junk food may seem like the easiest thing to do – but work hard to skip the fries and choose the fruit. You want your calories to count and provide you with strength. Here are some foods that are both palatable and fortifying for those preparing for mesothelioma surgery:

  • Melon
  • Berries
  • Bananas
  • Yogurt
  • Oatmeal
  • Peanut Butter
  • Whole grain crackers
  • Rotisserie chicken
  • Tuna
  • Soups
  • Eggs

Mesothelioma robs you of your strength, so eating right is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Contact the Patient Advocates at at 1-800-692-8608 to get more helpful tips.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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