Dietitians Week highlights the needs of people living with cancer

Cancer treatment is not all about operations and drug treatments – the care and support provided by Macmillan professionals extends far beyond that.

Ravneet Phalora is a Macmillan Specialist Oesophago-Gastric Dietitian based at the Royal Surrey Hospital, Guildford. She works with people living with a range of cancers, mainly stomach and oesophagus, supporting them both during and after treatment.

As part of Dietitians Week (June 12th to 16th) Ravneet will be following a liquid diet to highlight one way she and her team help and support people living with cancer.

She explained: “Patients with certain intestinal cancers can sometimes struggle to manage a normal diet and a liquid diet is one solution we often use after surgery. Throughout Dietitians Week my colleagues and I will be highlighting the additional, often unseen, support and treatment that people living with cancer need to ensure they have the very best chance of recovery.

“We will be following a range of special diets commonly advised for patients during treatment, including; a tube feed for a day, diet, oral nutritional supplements, low-irritant low-fibre diets, hospital foods, and a very low calorie diet.

“The right diet and a good nutritional intake can aid recovery and even make someone feel better. Cancer treatment can be very harsh on the body and ensuring it gets the very best nutrients is very important.”

Ravneet has been a Macmillan professional for seven months. She said: “Being part of Macmillan means I can reach patients most at need, and in return, patients recognise and appreciate the familiarity of the Macmillan name, promoting trust and confidence in my work. The ongoing support from Macmillan has been fantastic and means I can continue to develop my skills and knowledge and offer the very best to the people I care for.”

The work of the team and Dietitians Week is being promoted throughout the Royal Surrey Hospital with other medical staff also being encouraged to take part and trial the various diets.  Information will be available and a quiz will be run every day in the hospital canteen. Various topics will be covered including dietary restrictions: facts and fiction, myth busting and sugar.

©2017 Royal Surrey County Hospital

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