What Diet Should Kidney Cancer Patients Use?

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About 35 percent of all cancers may be linked to diet. Unfortunately, this link is not fully known. The same goes for kidney cancer. The precise connection between what you eat and this cancer is unknown – there is also no special diet recommended for patients with kidney cancer. However, eating right is always worth a try for anyone!

image_illustration440If you’re diagnosed with kidney cancer, the treatment goal is not only to remove and kill the cancer, but also to prevent the cancer from coming back. And for this goal, your diet may help – though again, there is usually no specific diet to follow.

So how your diet should go? The following pieces of information may help.

What to avoid?

Some foods have been convincingly shown to reduce or raise the risk of cancer. But this issue is actually not clear yet. Again, it’s difficult to exactly measure the relationship between diet and cancer, why? There are several reasons.

First, our daily diet is loaded with many different foods. And each food contains lots of different substances (such as different nutrients or chemicals). Furthermore, it’s difficult to get accurate data of ‘the way food intake is measured’.

Researches often rely on the participant’s memory to remember ‘how much & how often’ about particular foods that have been eaten over a period of time (food-frequency questionnaires are usually used). This way is not accurate enough to look at the effect of a particular food.

Nevertheless, some experts believe that the following bad things should be restricted /avoided when it comes to fighting against the cancer.

Diet high in sugar

It’s thought that cancer cells rely on sugar (glucose) to grow and thrive. Even some studies suggest that the risk of cancer is slightly higher in diabetics (see more in here). Although this issue may be still debatable, it’s always important to eat everything in balance.

Your dietary glucose is the main source of your energy. Just make sure to get it in moderation – eat it in the right amount to meet your body’s needs!

Diet high in salt

Too much consumption of salt might contribute to increase the risk of cancer. Diet high in salt is also bad for your blood pressure, increasing the risk of other health conditions such as heart disease and kidney disease. Therefore, try not to eat foods high in salt – including foods preserved using too much salt!

Foods high in phosphorus

Kidneys are responsible to keep the balance of lots of things in the blood. They determine on what to keep and what to remove from the bloodstream. Kidney cancer may interfere with this kidney function, and eating many phosphorus-rich foods may complicate the condition – according to the National Kidney Foundation.

Chocolates, cheese, and liver are some foods high in phosphorus. For more advice of how far you should restrict these foods, talk to your dietitian!

How about red meat?

Both red meat and processed meat are high in protein, but they are high in saturated fat. Even the bad effect of animal proteins may be more harmful for people with kidney cancer if compared to plant proteins.

Processed meat includes bacon, ham, and salami. And for red meat, it includes; all fresh, frozen, or minced lamb, pork, and beef. If you need to eat them, eat in fewer portions – or choose alternatives such as fish or chicken.

What else?

Advertisements about supplement products for treating cancer are overwhelming. Do they really work? Unfortunately, in fact they don’t have the same benefits as obtaining naturally-occurring minerals and vitamins in your food. Even some with very high dose might actually raise the risk of cancer.

As the name suggests, supplements are needed and really helpful if your body is being at deficiency. For example, if you have lack of iron – your doctor may prescribe iron supplement to help restore the deficiency. To keep safe, ask your doctor first before taking particular supplement!

What are best, healthy foods to eat?

Although the role of diet to help treat kidney cancer is difficult to measure, many experts believe that appropriate diet can help provide proper nutrition so you can cope with the cancer & its treatments more easily.

For example, the cancer treatments such as radiation therapy, surgery, and immunotherapy can take a huge toll on your body – here your healthy, planned diet plays a part to give you adequate nutrition and energy to cope with the side effects of these treatments.

Unfortunately, eating right could be another challenging thing for patients with kidney cancer. Many times, the cancer reduces their appetite or sometimes they don’t have appetite at all. However even though if you have a significant appetite loss, always try to eat!

Again, there is no specific diet recommended for kidney cancer. But in general, here are some important checklists to remember:


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