Nutrition plays an important role in cancer.
Experts said that a person undergoing cancer treatment should pay attention to the food they eat, saying that these patients tend to lose weight due to the effects of treatment and disease. Claiming that it is well known that the treatment and psychological state of cancer patients influence the disease process, Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr Nilüfer Avcı said many factors, from diet to exercise, contribute to the process. Avcı indicated that cancer patients should pay attention to their diet first and pointed out that saturated fats and high-calorie diets cause both obesity and many types of cancer. Avcı said that monounsaturated fats are less associated with cancer and that this group of oils is found in olive oil, avocado, peanuts, fish and walnuts. Avcı said: “Research has shown that the risk of colon, prostate and stomach cancer increases in people who consume a lot of meat. Exposing meat to chemical processes, especially through barbecuing or cooking, increases the risk of cancer.” relationship sugar intake has been shown to increase the risk of cancer, consuming foods high in sugar and sweeteners causes weight gain. Weight gain can also cause cancer,” he said.
Watch out for vitamins
Avcı stated that the risk of stomach and colon cancer has been shown to be reduced by the consumption of fruits and vegetables, saying, “2-3 servings of vegetables and 1-2 servings of fruits per day are recommended for patients with cancer. A moderate amount of physical activity improves fatigue, muscle strength, cardiovascular health and the patient’s mental state. Quality of life improves. Physical activity is recommended during cancer treatment, depending on the patient’s condition and the stage of the disease.” Unnecessary use of vitamins can be harmful. The recommended quality is food. The immune system is weak during chemotherapy. Therefore, cleaning is very important for cancer patients to prevent infection,” he said.
Referring to the drugs used in the treatment, Avcı said: “When we talk about chemotherapy, we are not really talking about a single drug. A group of drugs, which we call cytotoxics, were first used in chemotherapy. Cytotoxic drugs are also grouped according to their mechanism of action. Therefore, the side effects of each drug are different, as well as the mechanism of action. These side effects are seen in varying degrees of severity in relation to the resistance of the patient’s body. Cytotoxic drugs affect cancer cells that have the ability multiply and divide rapidly However, normal cells with the ability to divide rapidly can also be affected during treatment i.e. hair loss, anemia, mouth sores, nausea, diarrhea and constipation Effects on the heart, the kidneys, lungs and nervous system,” he said.
‘There are now smart drugs’
Avcı said that cancer cells have different properties from normal cells and said: “The drugs that only recognize these features in cancer cells and aim to destroy cancer cells are called smart drugs (targeted). In smart drugs, they are divided according to their mechanism of action and molecular structure “To kill more cancer cells without damaging normal cells. Today, with the advancements in modern medicine, we can detect the biological properties of cancer cells. According to these properties, we use more targeted drugs.”