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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How do you eat with oral cancer?

    My friend's mother has oral cancer and finds it difficult to eat due to the sores in her mouth and difficulty swallowing. How can she assure that she gets the right nutrients? And how can she manage the pain from eating?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Qualification : BDSc, Bachelor of Dental Science, University of Western Australia 1994 View Profile

    Preferably the patient should have access to a Nutritionist for dietary advice.
    Patients are advised to have soft and moist foods which are easy to swallow.
    Fluid intake such as water or juice should be taken frequently throughout the day or night
    Plenty of fruits and vegetables.
    Nutritional supplement drinks that contain essential protein,carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals are also recommended, if the act of swallowing is limiting or difficult.

  • Nikki Martin

    Speech Pathologist

    I have over 13 years experience in adult Speech Pathology and specialise in voice and swallowing problems/cancers of the face and throat. I work very … View Profile

    She should be seen by a Speech Pathologist who has a background in cancers of the face and throat for a swallow assessment. Diet modification (softening foods etc) can be one option, but there are also other swallowing stragies that can be implemented to ease the pain and discomfort of swallowing.

    Nikki Martin
    Speech Pathologist

  • Shirley is an Accredited Practising Dietitian with 16 years clinical experience in large public hospital and in private practice. She has extensive specialised experience in … View Profile

    As Niiki mentioned, it depends on the extent of the disease and what kind of treatment, so therefore what kind of side effects there are. All these will impact on the type of nutrition you can tolerate. The hopsital where you are getting treatment should be able to refer you to a speech pathologist and a dietitian in their cancer therapy centre. If not, you can find a dietitian from who have specialised skills in the area of cancer treatment. 

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