There are numerous causes of cancers, poor eating habit is one of them. It is believed that one third of the cancer death is related to the inappropriate food they ate. Artificial sugar, barbequed food, deep fried food, food addictive agents and food preservative increase the chance of having cancers. Eating more vegetables and fruits with more fiber intake can help preventing cancers as they contain a lot of anti-cancer substances while fatty or processed food should be avoided as much as we can. In short, people can eat whatever they want as long as they follow the main principle of food choice. There are some suggested diets for every day consumption and recommended recipes in the late chapters of the book for your reference.


Eating habit and Cancers

Radiotherapy is a common treatment to most cancer patients. It uses ionizing radiation to destroy cancer cells (rapidly dividing cells) with minimal injury to normal cells. Not only can radiotherapy cure or control the growth of cancers, it can also act as a prophylaxis and palliation purpose. Careful planning before radiotherapy is essential; it is performed by radiotherapists in order to increase the accuracy of the therapy.

This booklet talks about the invention of radiotherapy, its technology (2D. 3D-conformal), different types of radiotherapy used (Image Guided Radiotherapy, Tomotherapy, cyberknife), its main functions and precautions. Also the diet, nursing cares during the treatment. Nevertheless, it has listed the short term and long term complications when radiotherapy is used in different types of cancers.


Radiotherapy

Chemotherapy is commonly used to treat cancers. They mainly interfere with the replication and other normal functions of cancer cells, causing cell death and tumor shrinkage. However, both healthy and malignant cells will be affected by chemotherapy, causing a large sum of side effects and discomfort to patients during the process. Normal cells have a greater ability to repair minor damages than malignant cells, however, rapidly dividing cells like bone marrow, gastrointestinal mucosa and hair follicles are affected in a larger extent and may not be able to recover.

The main focus of this booklet is to highlight the side effects our body will experience during chemotherapy, from general to specific. Also it suggests how people can relieve the discomfort brought by those side effects.


Chemotherapy

With the perceptions of western medicine is “toxic”, many Chinese, especially the elderlies, like consulting Chinese Medicine doctors when they are sick. It is a controversial topic when it comes to whether Chinese Medicine is useful for treating cancers. Indeed, it is believed that Chinese Medicine alone cannot cure cancers but to stabilize tumors and promote overall wellness of the body. The fact is western medical technologies like operations, radiotherapy and chemotherapy plays a vital role in the early treatment stages of cancers, it helps destroying the tumors while Chinese Medicine acts as an assistant role. It is gentler and it helps to relieve the discomfort feelings brought by the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

This booklet suggests how Chinese medicine can be used to maximize the benefit of Western medicine. It talks in great details what kinds of Chinese medicine should be used to treat different side effects brought by radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Some recipes are also recommended as a diet therapy for cancer patients.


Chinese Medicine and Cancers

Having a cancer patient in a family increases the burden to every family member. Some people choose to send their loved ones to hospital as they think better care can be provided there. However, it is better to take care of the patients at their own home as they would rather spend as much as their limited time with their families. Nevertheless, it can be stressful for the family members if they do not acquire the correct attitude and the knowledge to take care of the patient.

This booklet has rich information on the basic knowledge of nursing cares to a dependent patient. For example bed bathing, mouth caring, exercising, prevention of pressure sore, diet preparation, ryle’s tube feeding, toileting, etc. It can be a frustrating and exhausting job; therefore every family member should contribute and support each other. Most importantly, seek help when needed. There are many supporting groups and organizations in Hong Kong which can lessen the burden of the care givers and the information is listed clearly in the booklet.


Family

Patients who receive chemotherapy or radiotherapy often experience side effects like nausea, vomiting, mucosal ulcer, dry mouth, diarrhea or constipation. These side effects greatly decrease the appetite of patients, thus affecting their nutritional status. It is bad for their recoveries as they need energy to battle and protein to repair, therefore, we should make sure they are eating the right things.

Generally, a high protein and high energy diet is recommended, extra sweetness or sourness could be added to fit the taste of the patients. This booklet suggests a variety of healthy recipes with different functions (for constipation, edema, immunity, anemia, etc), to alleviate the discomfort brought by the side effects and strengthen the body as a whole.


Nutrition

Many cancer patients experience pain. It may be caused by the tumor itself, the invasion of nerve, organs or bone by the tumor, operations or radiotherapy. One common misconception about pain is “always avoid pain killers”; people take pain killers as their last resort to ease pain. They will not take pain killers unless the pain has reached an intolerable stage. This is in fact a very wrong concept because pain may distort normal social life, mood disturbance or even depression. Long term pain is a very frustrating experience and should be controlled by appropriate medications prescribed by doctors. Under the guidance of doctors, pain killer is actually a very safe and useful tool to help people live with their pain.


Pain

Chinese believe that different soup should be drunk at different times of a year. In summer, people get irritated easily and may damage heart; in autumn, people may have dry cough which damage lung; in winter, kidney is believed to be under more stress; in spring, more attention should be paid to liver. The theory behind is left for you to find out in this book, which is written by a registered Chinese Medicine doctor in Hong Kong, suggesting different soup with various functions for the four seasons.


Soup for different seasons