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Frequently Asked Questions

 


Can I drink your soy shake recipes if my oncologist or dietitian has recommended that I follow a neutropenic diet due to my low white blood cell counts?

Check with your doctor or nurse to see if a drug called Neupogen, which which stimulates the production of white blood cells, would be appropriate for you to use during this time of low white blood cell (WBC) counts. Product information with prescribing guidelines are available at the following web site: http://www.neupogen.com/pi.html

Regarding neutropenic diets, hopefully, you will only need this periodically if your counts are low (again, each center implements this diet at different WBC levels). A neutropenic diet includes all well-cooked foods and eliminates foods that may contain potential disease-causing microorganisms (Oncology Nutrition Patient Education Materials by Walker and Masino, published by The American Dietetic Association, 1998).The restrictions on this diet vary from cancer center to cancer center. Please ask to speak to the Registered Dietitian at your cancer center to obtain the current guidelines used there.

General Guidelines (as related to the ingredients used in my soy shake recipes):

  • Many fruits and vegetables are available canned and can be used to make the shake.
  • You could also take fresh or frozen fruits and veggies, first wash them thoroughly under running water, microwave or steam them until well-done, cool covered in the refrigerator, and then use them in the shake. (Some fresh produce even has better availability of nutrients and phytochemicals with cooking although other nutrients are also decreased with cooking. However, please remember that this diet is only for short term use and try not to worry too much about the lost nutrients.)
  • Use the vacuum-packed (pastuerized) tofu to minimize bacterial counts. Change the storage water daily. Never buy tofu from open bins or barrels during this time of being immune-suppressed.
  • Do not use the wheat germ, wheat bran, or flax seeds at this time.
  • Additional pertinent foods recommended as OK in the Oncology Nutrition Patient Education Materials cited above:
    - pasteurized yogurt
    - peeled thick-skinned, unblemished fresh fruit (banana, citrus, melon - be sure to wash the outside peels prior to cutting through the fruit with your knife)
    - peeled apples
    - cooked dried fruit
    - processed fruit juices - pasteurized milk (and soy milk)
  • Pertinent foods to avoid per the Oncology Nutrition Patient Education Materials cited above:
    - fresh-squeezed fruit juice
      - unpasteurized fruit juice
  • Be sure your blender and its cover, cutting board and utensils are clean, preferably by washing them all in the dishwasher. If you need to wash these items by hand, use warm soapy water, rinse well, then wash again with a solution of 1 Tablespooon bleach in 4 cups of warm water. Let the solution stay on for at least 2 minutes and then rinse clean with hot clean water.
  • Probably most important of all, thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water before handling the foods and preparing the shake.

One excellent on-line source for further information on neutropenic diets is at the website for the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

faq posted 5/00, updated 7/01, 11/02, 8/03, 1/04

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Nutritional Concerns during Cancer Treatment (related to side effects)

Nutritional Concerns during  Cancer Treatment Can you provide a list of all chemotherapy drugs called alkylating agents that may potentially have interactions with antioxidant supplements during chemotherapy? posted 10/02
Nutritional Concerns during  Cancer Treatment Dear Diana, I am undergoing treatments for cancer and am not eating well. What should I do? posted 7/01
Nutritional Concerns during Treatment Can I drink your soy shake recipes if my oncologist or dietitian has recommended that I follow a neutropenic diet due to my low white blood cell counts? posted 5/00, updated 7/01, updated 11/02, updated 8/03
Nutritional Concerns during Treatment Should I consume antioxidants during my cancer therapy? posted 12/01, updated 10/02
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment Can herbs interact with any of the chemotherapy drugs? posted 4/01, updated 9/02
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment Are there any diet changes to help relieve bloating during abdominal radiation? posted 4/03
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment Do you have diet suggestions for someone who has diarrhea after
radiation therapy for rectal cancer?
posted 1/04, updated 4/04, 11/04, 1/05
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment Is it safe to drink green tea if I have a port for administration of my chemotherapy? posted 1/04
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment Can you tell me foods to eat to reduce the acid in my urine and pain in my bladder and ureters? posted 2/04, updated 5/05
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment How can I eat a diet as healthy as you suggest if I need to be
hospitalized for more than a day or two?
posted 3/04
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment My husband is having chemotherapy treatments and has lost his sense
of taste after one treatment. Are there any foods I can prepare that will give him some relief?
posted 9/04
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment Is there a good web site describing the nutrition related side effects from chemo drugs? posted 10/04
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment Should I stop drinking green tea during chemotherapy to avoid consuming too many antioxidants? posted 7/05
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment How can I use the diet recommendations on your web site and in your book to both increase my intake of cancer fighting foods for optimizing my cancer recovery and lose weight at the same time? posted 3/06
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment What tips do you have to stay on a healthy diet during the holiday season? posted 11/06

 


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These questions and answers are intended to be of a general informative nature. Please consult with the Registered Dietitian in your cancer center or your health care provider for nutritional advice that can be individualized to your specific medical condition.


 
Contact Information:
Phone/Fax: 734/996-9260

P.O. Box 130221, Ann Arbor, MI  48113

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