Diet & Exercise
Eating a healthy diet and getting frequent moderate exercise (like taking a
walk) will help you feel your best during radiation therapy.
There is no need to eat a special diet during radiation therapy. If you want
more information, a dietitian is available to answer questions and help you
plan your meals.
Currently, there is no evidence to show that high dose vitamins are an effective
supplement to current standard cancer treatments. In fact, some vitamins, given
in excessive doses, may counteract the beneficial effects of radiation treatment.
We recommend avoiding the following vitamins/ supplements: Antioxidants, Vitamin
A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, alpha-lipoic acid, pycnogenol, grape seed extract, and selenium. If you are already taking a small, daily multivitamin,
there is no need to stop taking it.
On the other hand, some studies have suggested that cancer patients who exercise
regularly have better outcomes than inactive patients. We recommend getting
daily moderate exercise, such as walking, yoga/tai chi, or light housework.
Chlorine can irritate the skin, so stay out of swimming pools until your radiation
treatments are complete. Your nurse will give you a sheet of daily exercises
that are designed to help breast cancer patients maintain or regain strength
and flexibility in the arm.
Some patients feel sleepy, tired, or low-energy during their radiation treatments.
This symptom usually doesn’t develop until the third or fourth week of
treatment. If you feel fatigued, we recommend cutting back your activity to
a tolerable level. Don’t hesitate to ask friends or family for help with
housework or errands. If you have concerns about work, please let your physician
or nurse know.