How Has Cancer Changed Your Relationship With Food?


Cancer changes one’s life in ways both big and small. One, in particular, is how it changes one's relationship with food. So, CURE asked its audience how cancer changed their relationship with food and how they handle nutrition moving forward.

From changing the taste of certain foods to learning new things about nutrition, CURE® recently asked its social media audience: How has cancer changed your relationship with food? Here are some of their responses.

  • In remission 2 years from stage 3 anal cancer and my relationship to food has been completely re-imagined. Pelvic radiation has made it imperative I avoid food that can cause gastrointestinal distress. I eat little sugar; I can no longer eat hot peppers or spicy foods because I easily get mouth sores since chemo. — TP
  • It made me never take food for granted. During treatment food and beverages, even water, tasted nasty. Now I relish the flavors. - BG
  • I have stage 4 breast cancer. I haven’t changed my diet much, which has always been pretty well balanced. And I don’t fret about treating myself to “unhealthy” choices. I figure I deserve to enjoy a quality of life that makes me happy. - YS
  • Eating healthy meals now. Started changes prior to cancer, but really stepped it up. — MM
  • It changed my appetite! I’m not as hungry as I use(d) to be. Meat tastes funny to me sometimes. - SH
  • It hasn’t changed much since I’ve always eaten pretty healthfully. I have eliminated foods that I must avoid (no more raw bar/sushi, unpasteurized cheese, and the like as they are potentially dangerous for blood cancer). I want to enjoy life, and food is part of it. — KR
  • Definitely eating healthier, more organic foods (and) regular exercise. - JM
  • Absolutely! I do NOT eat the crap I used to. Candy, fast food, processed foods, food dye, etc. It’s a work in progress but each day I get better at picking better food choices and eliminating the stuff I can do without. It took some time, so don't be discouraged. - KK
  • I try to eat much healthier. Eliminating white flours, white rice, sugar and dairy has made it easier to tolerate the chemo side effects. - TC
  • I always ate healthy, got plenty of exercise, did physical work. Yet, the cancer came... and came back. I still eat very healthy (vegetarian, heading to vegan), but I treat myself whenever I feel like it! — TA
  • I just do liquid by mouth and canned nutrition by belly tube. - MH
  • I have tried to learn to use food as fuel, not comfort. I’m not doing great in the pandemic with that! — DC
  • I went from being mostly vegetarian to eating strictly a plant-based diet. - BOD
  • I haven't changed much of anything. All food tastes so different now. Mealtime for me is more like work. If there is one thing I could change, it would be one more pill to take to replace the food I try to eat. — RS
  • I completely changed my relationship with food. I used to eat and enjoy all food without digging deeper into the issue of what is the food doing to my body. I use food to nourish me now. I give it what it needs to feel good and healthy. It made me more aware of how unhealthy food makes you feel. — TS
  • My diet is extremely limited. I can no longer tolerate most veggies and red meat. I have to take supplements to augment my diet. Twelve years now and counting. - AM
  • Missing the "real" taste of food as I go through radiation treatment on my neck. Can't wait to get back to biting into a crisp juicy apple, snacking on raw carrots and fresh fruit on my morning granola. Right now, everything tastes like metal. - JB
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