Nutrition Requirements after Lung Cancer Surgery

Updated at: Jun 23, 2016
Nutrition Requirements after Lung Cancer Surgery

Nutrition after lung cancer surgery – What should be the food menu after lung cancer surgery? Patients should stick to a healthy diet encompassing nutrient-dense food choices that help them recover post lung cancer surgery.

Himanshu Sharma
CancerWritten by: Himanshu SharmaPublished at: Aug 30, 2012

Nutrition Requirements after Lung Cancer Surgery

According to the National Cancer Institute, about one-third of cancer deaths are related to poor nutrition. An appropriate nutrition is the key to keep patients strong after lung cancer surgery. An apt nutrition fulfils nutritional need of a patient, shields them from harmful after-effects and enhances immunity. [Read: Easing Cancer Side-effects with Diet]

Nutrition for Post Lung Cancer Care


  • The best chance to fight cancer after a lung cancer surgery is by being a fortified nutrition. The nutritional requirement of an individual depends on the type of therapy pursued such as chemotherapy and radiation. The impact of food choices differ in each individual so one will have to find out about what’s the best to eat and stay fit post surgery. [Read: Care for Someone with Lung Cancer]
  • A constant supply of nutrients is needed to aid healing process after having a surgery. The nutrition should come all macronutrient groups, essentially from carbohydrates, protein and fat.
  • The American Cancer Society caution patients for the risk of nausea or loss of appetite after they have pursued lung cancer surgery. To prevent this, patients should maintain a healthy diet and stay hydrated. Patients are often given IV fluids, clear liquids and ice chips immediately after surgery to keep them hydrated.  [Read: How to Reduce Lung Cancer Risk]
  • Health experts suggest breaking meals into smaller portions and timing them evenly throughout the day. Spreading meals throughout the day makes it easier for a body to absorb nutrients and suppress hunger.

Diet after Lung Cancer Surgery

  • Fruits and Vegetables – Fruits laden with vitamins A, E, C, D and E help to revive functioning of several organs. Vitamin E helps patients lower the risk of lung cancer recurrence. Apples, oranges, berries and dried fruits also provide fibre for streamlined functioning of digestive system. As far as vegetables are concerned, health experts recommended vegetables high in fibre, especially green leafy vegetables. Fruits and vegetables must constitute 30 percent of the daily diet.
  • Meat – Lean meat, such as fish, turkey and skinless poultry should be included in the diet to fulfil protein requirement. Owing to its high saturated fat and cholesterol content, limit daily intake to 15 per cent .
  • Low-fat Dairy Products – Milk, cheese and yoghurt should essentially be included in the diet chart to make it easier for the digestive tract, which becomes sensitive after surgical treatment.

For nutritional support, speak to a dietician to make sure that nutritional requirement is met. In case a patient is unable to eat or digest food, nutrition is given parenterally (through a vein) or enterally (through a feeding tube). Moreover patients should ask friends and relatives to help them maintain recommended diet for avoiding malnutrition and other complications.


Read more articles on Lung Cancer


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