Last Updated on March 12, 2024 by admin

Mesothelioma is cancer that develops in response to asbestos exposure. It accounts for nearly 3000 cases being diagnosed annually in the USA alone. Malignant tumors affect the abdomen, heart, or lung’s inner layer (pleural mesothelioma). 

Depending on the site of tumor development, the cancer is categorized as follows:

  • Pleural Mesothelioma (tumor in the lungs)
  • Pericardial Mesothelioma (tumor in the heat)
  • Peritoneal Mesothelioma (tumor in the abdomen)

Pleural mesothelioma comprises the bulk of mesothelioma cases, with up to 75% of cases being reported on average. The other two varieties make up less than 20% of all cases. Since the causative agent responsible for this disease is toxic asbestos, individuals exposed to it are prone to be diagnosed with mesothelioma. Professionals belonging to the navy, miners, firefighters, auto mechanics, and HVAC technicians are the highest risk group for developing m-cancer. 

This cancer has an extended latency period and takes about two decades to develop and metastasize. Hence, no immediate effects of inhaling asbestos can be detected. 

Mesothelioma is a rare but significantly hostile variety of cancer. Once diagnosed, it spreads aggressively to multiple organs. Based on this, the life expectancy for mesothelioma is estimated to be one year from diagnosis

However, the prognosis depends on a multitude of other factors. Some of them can be identified as age, lifestyle habits, and the previous nutrition level of the patient. Nevertheless, 40% of all m-patients in the USA survive each year, including mesothelioma navy patients. 

While this cancer itself might be incurable, the symptoms of mesothelioma can be treated effectively. Several treatment options are available for this ranging from chemotherapy to immunotherapy. 

The treatment outcomes of all these options are improved considerably when backed by a foundation of good nutrition. Following is an easy-to-follow nutrient guide for m-patients. 

Foods and their Nutrition Value in Fighting off Mesothelioma

Vegetables with a high starch content are an excellent way to fuel up your recovery from mesothelioma. These vegetables are not only a rich source of vitamins and minerals but also a great way to compensate for your body’s calorie requirements. While many patients find it hard to maintain an adequate, let alone a healthy diet while on m-treatment. It is essential not to let your body go into a caloric deficit. 

Vegetables are easy on the palette and, at the same time, make for a wholesome meal. The best vegetable options to consume during and after m-treatments are:

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Yellow Yams
  • Pumpkin
  • White Potatoes

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Mesothelioma patients need to build muscle and prevent its loss at all costs, and high protein diets are an excellent source to achieve this goal. Foods rich in protein can include the following options:

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Yogurt
  • Nuts
  • Cheese
  • Soy Bean
  • Beans and Lentils

With a large variety of options, protein should constitute a major portion of a patient with diagnosed mesothelioma. The ideal daily protein intake varies between 0.65 to 0.75 grams per body weight. A recent clinical trial revealed a Vitamin D deficiency among mesothelioma patients. Hence, it is also advised to top up your Vitamin D reserves through food sources like fish

Hydration is equally important for the healthy and the immunocompromised alike, but more so for patients on radiation therapy. For most people, water is the only source of hydration that comes to their minds. This is not the only option to resort to when looking to hydrate yourself. Here are some nutrient-loaded sources of hydration for you to choose from:

  • Fresh Fruit juices
  • Vegetable Soups
  • Bone Broth
  • Protein Smoothies

In addition to this, liquid nutrient supplementing diets are most commonly easily accepted by patients of all types of cancers. Brightly colored fruits are indicative of powerful cancer-fighting agents within them. These substances known as antioxidants are nature’s weapons against cancer cells. Vibrant-colored fruits and berries are loaded full of these antioxidants and hence prove to be a useful diet component in mesothelioma patients, both during and after treatment. 

According to nutritionists, the best way to consume these fruits is to add them to a fat or protein source. This way, the body’s caloric intake is also taken care of. Some palatable fruit options are:

  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Cherries
  • Cranberries
  • Blackcurrants
  • Mulberries

In a Nutshell

Mesothelioma can affect your appetite. However, you may repel from foods that you previously enjoyed. That said, this does not mean that cancer patients cannot improve the quality of their life. The right balance of nutrients and lifestyle choices can positively impact your life.

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Olivia Rodriguez
Olivia Rodriguez is a registered dietitian and health coach with a passion for helping people lead healthier lives. With over 8 years of experience in the field, Olivia has worked with individuals and families to develop personalized nutrition and wellness plans that promote optimal health and well-being. She is a frequent contributor to health and wellness publications and has written extensively on topics such as plant-based nutrition, weight management, and chronic disease prevention. Olivia believes that good nutrition is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle, and her mission is to help people make sustainable changes that improve their health and happiness. When she's not working with clients or writing, Olivia enjoys practicing yoga, hiking, and exploring new healthy food options.