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Resources for Appetite Loss and Taste Changes

Appetite / Taste Changes and Chemotherapy

Treatment for cancer, as well as the cancer itself, can affect your sense of taste or smell. You may find that many foods seem to have less taste. Other foods, especially meat or other high-protein foods, may taste bitter or metallic.

Appetite Stimulation

To help stimulate your appetite, eat small meals five to six times a day. Drink juice or milkshakes between meals. Eat in pleasant surroundings in the company of friends or family.

Enteral Feeding

Nutritional supplements are available to provide protein, vitamins, and other nutrients your body needs for energy. If you can’t take these supplements by mouth, special tubes can be placed that allow you to receive the necessary nutrients without eating or drinking.

Parenteral Feeding

If you can’t tolerate food by mouth, or your bowel needs to rest, you may be given nutrition by vein. This special nutrition solution can be given into an implanted port, a tunneled catheter, or any other long-term catheter placed in a large vein.

Taste Changes

To help manage changes in taste, avoid foods and odors you find unpleasant. Brush your teeth before and after meals to keep your mouth clean.
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