Dietitian FAQs

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Dietitian FAQs

What does a Dietitian do?

A dietitian or clinical nutritionist is a health professional who is qualified to give specific advice and recommendations on diets that promote well-being and recovery from disease.

Dietitians work with the rest of the radiation oncology team to review your condition, test results and progress. They then discuss with you a nutrition care plan to help you through your treatment and make eating easier and more enjoyable.

Dietitians provide advice and information on methods of feeding and dietary supplements where required.

What dietetic services are provided at St Luke’s Radiation Oncology Network?

Dietetic services are available to both in-patients and outpatients attending St Luke’s Radiation Oncology Network.

How do I access dietetic services at St Luke’s Radiation Oncology Network?

If you would like to speak with a dietitian, ask your doctor or nurse and they will arrange a referral.

Why is nutrition important during my treatment?

Good nutrition means eating enough of a wide variety of foods to make sure you get all the energy and nutrients you need.

Research has shown that weight loss caused by cancer and cancer treatment can reduce your response to treatment, increase treatment related side effects and reduce your overall survival.

The side effects of treatment can lead to weight loss and affect your ability to eat. A diet rich in energy and protein helps you maintain a healthy weight during your treatment. It is important to remember that keeping well-nourished is very important for recovery and yields many physical and mental benefits.

Why is keeping my weight stable important during my treatment?

Weight maintenance is an important part of your treatment. Keeping your weight stable will help to reduce the need for re-planning your radiotherapy and prevent unnecessary breaks in your treatment. You should aim to keep your weight stable until your recovery is complete, even if you are overweight.

Do I need to follow a special diet during my treatment?

There is no single diet for cancer. Symptoms and side effects of treatment can vary from person to person. Your dietitian can give you advice which is tailored to meet your individual needs.

Useful websites:

Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute www.indi.ie
Irish Cancer Society www.cancer.ie
Good Nutrition for Cancer Recovery www.cancercookbook.ie