This year’s theme of Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week has been determined as “Survivorship” by the European Head and Neck Association (EHNS). Important factors that will affect patients’ quality of life and healthy life after survival were brought to the agenda. In this context, Nutrition and Diet Specialist Taylan Kümeli drew attention to the nutritional difficulties experienced by people who have survived head and neck cancers, and listed important tips and recommendations for improving the diet of patients.
European Head and Neck Association (EHNS) Turkey representative, with the contributions of “Head and Neck Cancers Association”, which was organized for the 7th time this year. In the meeting held as part of the Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week, “Dietary Guidelines for Patients Treated for Head and Neck Cancer” were introduced.
ENT Specialist Prof. Dr. Şefik Hoşal shared information about the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. On the other hand, Healthy Nutrition and Diet Specialist Taylan Kümeli gave advice on proper nutrition methods in the disease.
Oral wounds, hoarseness and swelling in the neck should be considered
Stating that smoking, alcohol and HPV virus are among the leading risk factors in head and neck cancers, ENT Specialist Prof. Dr. Şefik Hoşal said that hoarseness, mouth sores and swelling in the neck lasting longer than 3 weeks should not be neglected.
Pay attention to nutrition to improve the quality of life after survival!
The theme of Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week this year was determined as “Survivorship” by the European Head and Neck Society (EHNS). Important factors that will affect patients’ quality of life and healthy life after survival were brought to the agenda.
Healthy Nutrition and Diet Specialist Taylan Kümeli, in his statements within the scope of the meeting, stated that it is not easy for patients with head and neck cancer to return to normal nutrition after treatment due to difficulty in chewing and swallowing, dry mouth, loss of taste and psychological factors. Taylan Kümeli listed the important tips and recommendations of patients to improve their diets as follows:
- Puréeing or combining foods such as soft, smooth yogurt can make these foods easier to swallow.
- Soups and smoothies (thick fruit drinks) are an excellent way to up your calorie intake and consume plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
- High-fat options such as whole milk, shredded cheese, high-fat yogurt, extra-virgin olive oil, and fruit juices will provide additional calories and nutrients.
- Work with an expert to add necessary food supplements to a regular diet to ensure adequate nutrition.
- Mashed fish, casseroles, soft cooked vegetables and soft foods such as bananas can be mashed easily.
A guiding guide
“Dietary Guide for Patients Treated for Head and Neck Cancer”, book introduced within the framework of Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week campaigns; It was prepared to inform patients, those who survived the disease, and their relatives about nutrition and to guide the preparation of delicious and nutritious meals.
Translated into Turkish by the Head and Neck Cancer Society of Turkey, the book was published by enriching it with the recipes of dietitian Taylan Kümeli, suitable for Turkish taste. Taylan Kümeli shared healthy and practical recipes to improve the diet of patients with head and neck cancer during and after cancer treatment.
In addition to nutritious recipes, the cookbook includes patients’ experiences and suggestions on how to overcome the physical and mental difficulties that occur after treatment. The booklet, which was created with the aim of supporting patients during the treatment process, can be obtained by applying to the Head and Neck Cancers Association of Turkey.