A well-balanced and healthful diet is important for everyone, but it is even more critical for cancer patients.
To help patients better navigate nutrition throughout treatment, City of Hope’s Clinical Nutrition Services Department offers a broad array of services that help patients eat well to accelerate healing, boost energy levels and maintain well-being.
Often, trying to understand new nutritional needs — while coping with side effects from cancer therapies — makes it difficult for patients to eat well. Maintaining a good diet helps in their recovery from treatment and rebuilds their strength.
“Patients at City of Hope may have numerous questions about proper eating and drinking,” said Laura Dorr-Uyemura, R.D., director of clinical nutrition at City of Hope. “There are experts within Clinical Nutrition Services that have answers.”
The department includes seven clinical dietitians and three dietetic technicians. Most focus on the nutritional needs of cancer patients and answer common questions such as calorie and protein requirements during therapy, special diets to follow after specific treatments or how to continue eating well despite treatment side effects such as mouth sores, appetite loss and fatigue.
“At City of Hope, we take each individual patient’s illness, medical history and interest into account to find foods that will nourish their bodies,” Dorr-Uyemura said.
The “At Your Request” service reflects this focus on individuals’ specific needs. Run in collaboration with City of Hope’s Food and Nutrition Services group, the service offers inpatients the choice of meals customized to their liking, delivered to the bedside.
Department members also educate the community with lectures and seminars. For example, at the “I Can Cope” nutritional programs offered together with the American Cancer Society, patients and survivors can ask questions about special dietary needs, get tips on preparing healthful meals and snacks and sample various products.
Clinical nutrition is among the services grouped under the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center umbrella.
“We strive to provide service that exceeds the expectations of patients, their families and the community,” Dorr-Uyemura said, “and we are definitely open to suggestions for improvement.”
Nutrition services at City of Hope are available to City of Hope patients and employees. For more information about nutrition programs, please call ext. 62108. For information about the “I Can Cope” program, please e-mail Lina Mayorga at email@example.com.
Editor’s note: Clinical Nutrition Services is holding a canned food drive to benefit Foothill Unity Center, a San Gabriel Valley food bank. Bins for donated food items are located in the Bistro and cafeteria.