What and how to eat during cancer treatment ?

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When you have cancer, you need a healthy diet to stay fit and strong. It is important to know what to eat and especially how to prepare certain foods.

Be careful when it comes to raw foods

Some raw foods contain germs that can be harmful when treatments and/or cancer has weakened your immune system. Ask your healthcare professional for nutritional advice.

Eggs can have a bacteria called Salmonella, so you need to cook them thoroughly before eating them.

  • Both the yolk and white should be cooked hard.
  • Do not eat food that contains raw eggs such as Caesar salad dressing, hollandaise sauce and unbaked cookie dough or cake mix. 

Be careful with dairy products

  • All milks, yogurts, cheeses and other dairy products should be marked “pasteurized.”
  • Avoid soft cheeses and blue cheeses.
  • Avoid Mexican cheeses such as queso blanco and cotija.

Fruits and vegetables

  • Wash all your fruits, vegetables and herbs in cold water.
  • Avoid raw sprouts.
  • Drink only juices that have been pasteurized.
  • Avoid raw honey.


Make sure to cook your food long enough.

  • Avoid raw tofu. Tofu should be cooked for at least five minutes.
  • Make sure poultry is cooked and reaches 165°F (74°C).
  • Make sure beef, pork and veal is fully cooked. It must not be pink.
  • Do not eat raw fish, oysters or seafood.

Be careful when eating out

  • Avoid raw fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid salad bars and potlucks.
  • Always ask that your food be freshly prepared, even in fast-food restaurants.
  • Use only vinaigrettes, sauces and salsas that come in single serving packets.



National Cancer Institute website. Nutrition in Cancer Care (PDQ) – Health Professional Version. www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/side-effects/appetite-loss/nutrition-hp-pdq.