Cancer Nutrition

Maintaining a healthy diet is very important during and after any type of cancer treatment, but this may be difficult due to effects of cancer surgery or side effects from cancer treatments.

Henry Ford Cancer has registered dietitians that specialize in cancer care who can help you with your nutrition issues during your cancer journey. Our dietitians will help you cope with side effects of cancer treatment such as:

  • Mouth and throat problems
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation and Diarrhea
  • Change in taste or smell
  • Tube feeding
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite

When should I ask my care team to connect me with a registered dietitian? 

  • I'm having side effects from cancer treatment that are affecting my diet (see above)
  • I’m having difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • I'm having a surgery that may require diet or nutritional changes, or a feeding tube
  • I want to know what supplements are out there that can assist with healing
  • I'm having trouble maintaining my weight during chemotherapy and/or radiation

Ask a Cancer Support Specialist

What to expect when meeting with a registered dietitian

You will get the most out of your meeting with a dietitian if you come prepared.

  • Bring in a list of supplements or vitamins you've been taking. It might even be helpful to take a picture of the bottle so your dietitian can tell the exact brand and dosage you're on.
  • Identify and track any side effects you have been experiencing. Write them down to ensure your dietitian has a full picture of what you're experiencing, and can educate you and your loved ones on ways to cope.
  • Keep a food diary for a few days before the appointment or at least a list of the most common foods you eat. This can help your dietitian figure out if you're getting enough nutrients, or if what you're currently eating needs to be supplemented or changed.

During your first meeting, the dietitian may conduct a nutrition assessment, which is a lot of questions about what you've been eating, and how you've been feeling. If you've lost weight, he or she may perform a physical assessment, which is examining your body for signs of malnutrition. The dietitian will also give you educational information and materials on your specific type of cancer, side effects you might expect during treatment and recommended diet.

Your dietitian will be available to you throughout your cancer journey. Don't hesitate to reach out with questions, or ask your care team for a referral.

Meet our dietitians

Hilary Edwards, RD
Registered Dietitian
Henry Ford Cancer - Jackson
Susan Hill, MAPS, CSO, RD
Registered Dietitian
Henry Ford Cancer - Detroit
Henry Ford Cancer - Brownstown
Hannah Lepkowski, RD
Registered Dietitian
Henry Ford Cancer - Detroit
Henry Ford Cancer - Macomb
samantha szegedi
Samantha Schlitt, MS, RD
Registered Dietitian
Henry Ford Cancer - Detroit
Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital
Henry Ford Medical Center - Columbus

celtic knot

Colleen's Corner: Local and National Resources

Online Resources

See Resources

Seasonal Eating for Cancer Prevention

Learn how adding seasonal produce to your diet can help you lower your cancer risk and promote wellness.

mother and daughter cooking together

Visit our Livewell blog for healthy recipes and videos that will add some excitement to your diet.

Newly diagnosed?

Contact the cancer team 24/7 by calling (888) 777-4167.


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