Nutrition is an important factor during and after treatment for testicular cancer. Eating a well-balanced diet can help you feel stronger, tolerate treatments better, and support your recovery. There isn’t an evidence-based diet for treating testicular cancer. Instead aim for overall good nutrition, using healthy meals and snacks to get the nutrients you need.
- Include all food groups, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein, for the most cancer-fighting nutrients.
- Eat plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables.
- Adjust your menus if you have special health concerns like diabetes, high blood pressure, low iron, etc.
Treatments for testicular cancer may trigger nutrition-related side effects, such as
Click on each side effect to learn more about managing it.
Unmanaged, these side effects can make it difficult for you to eat a healthy diet and be well nourished. If you aren’t well nourished, you may not get the most benefit from your treatments. You can take action to fight these side effects by following these suggestions for making wise food choices:
Maintain a weight healthy.
Losing even 5-10 pounds may have a negative effect on your health during treatment. Read our tips for maintaining a healthy weight, and ask your healthcare team for help or for a referral to a registered dietitian.
Aim for small, frequent meals throughout the day rather than three large meals.
Choose food, not a supplement.
The body works best when it gets nutrients from the food and drink we consume, not from vitamins and supplements.
Include fruits and vegetables.
These foods are full of antioxidants that help fight cancer and keep you healthy. Set a goal of 5 to 6 servings of whole fruits and vegetables each day.
Pick lean protein.
During and after treatment, you need extra protein to repair cells and tissues. Protein also aids in recovery and protection of the immune system. Plan to eat a lean protein at each meal and snack when possible.
Quench your thirst.
Drinking enough fluids helps prevent dehydration and digestive problems. Your body needs fluids to work at its peak. Reach for water, juices, milk, and nonalcoholic beverages. Choose decaffeinated drinks if dehydration or sleeping problems occur. Most adults need a minimum of 64 ounces of fluids daily, which can include soups, gelatin, ice cream, and smoothies. You may need to spread your fluid intake throughout the day if you are having urinary issues.
Help yourself to healthy fats.
Choose plant-based fats like olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, and unsaturated margarines and spreads.
Deal with side effects.
Digestive problems will quickly sideline your nutrition plan. Changes in your blood counts, energy levels, and stamina can make it a challenge to prepare meals and to enjoy eating. Talk to your healthcare team about how to deal with these side effects and visit Help for Managing Cancer Side Effects.
Most importantly, know that your cancer journey is unique to you and your treatment. You may experience side effects that affect your ability to follow these suggestions. If you are struggling with any side effects, such as loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, or any other nutrition concerns, your needs may be different. A registered dietitian can suggest nutrition guidelines that will be appropriate for your cancer journey. Schedule a time to talk to PearlPoint’s registered dietitian.