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cancer in mauritiusCancer Research

The Role of Nutrition in Supporting Cancer Treatment

Nutrition Importance in Cancer Care

Nutrition plays a pivotal role in our lives, influencing not only overall health but also the risk of developing chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and various cancers. Shockingly, over 50% of all cancer cases are linked to dietary factors and lifestyle habits like excessive alcohol consumption and smoking.

Emphasizing the connection between an unhealthy diet and cancer is paramount. Educating the public about the importance of adopting healthy eating habits, such as reducing fast food intake and increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables, is crucial in mitigating cancer risk.

For cancer patients undergoing treatment, proper nutrition is indispensable. It provides the body with essential nutrients necessary to withstand the physical and emotional rigors of therapy. Moreover, malnutrition can significantly undermine the effectiveness of cancer treatments. Therefore, cancer patients and survivors require tailored nutrition support alongside surgical or pharmacological interventions.

It is without a doubt that prioritizing nutrition is fundamental in both preventing cancer and supporting its treatment. By making informed dietary choices, individuals can take proactive steps to safeguard their health and well-being.

Poor Nutrition and Cancer

Research has uncovered significant associations between dietary habits and the risk of developing certain types of cancer. High-fat diets and obesity have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, highlighting the importance of maintaining a balanced diet to reduce this risk factor. Furthermore, the consumption of deep-fried, burnt, and preserved foods high in salt is associated with an elevated incidence of gastric cancer. Diets low in fibre and rich in animal fat have been implicated in the development of stomach and esophageal cancers.

In the United States, a high intake of red meat and a low-fibre diet have been specifically linked to an increased incidence of gastric cancer. Notably, the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified processed meat as Group 1 carcinogens, indicating that they are carcinogenic to humans, while red meat is classified as Group 2A, indicating that it is probably carcinogenic to humans, particularly for colorectal cancer.


Carcinogenic Substances Carcinogenic Substances Association with Cancer and measures to reduce the Carcinogenic effects
Heterocyclic amines (HCA) Pyrolysis products synthesizing from food during grilling process. Epidemiological studies how associations between intakes of Heterocyclic amines-viewed as potential mutagens and cancer of the colon, rectum, breast, prostate, pancreas, lung, stomach/esophagus.
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) Avoiding direct exposure of meat to an open flame or a hot metal surface and avoiding prolonged cooking times (especially at high temperatures) can help reduce HCA and PAH formation. (Knize MG,2005). Continuously turning meat over on a high heat source can substantially reduce HCA formation compared with just leaving the meat on the heat source without flipping it often (KnizeMG,2005).
Aflatoxins Aspergillus molds infest staple crops such as maize, peanuts, rice, and wheat throughout the world. Chronic low-level exposure to aflatoxins, particularly aflatoxin B1, is associated with increased risk of developing liver cancer-hepatocellular carcinoma.
Aldehydes Heating up vegetable oils leads to the release of high concentration of chemicals called aldehydes, which have been linked to illnesses including cancer, heart disease and dementia.

Table 1: The effects of carcinogenic substances



Healthy Habits for Cancer Care

Nutrition plays a significant role in supporting cancer treatment in several crucial ways:

  1. Maintaining Strength: Adequate nutrition provides the essential energy and nutrients needed to support the body’s healing process and maintain strength during treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.
  2. Supporting Immune Function: A well-balanced diet rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals is vital for bolstering the immune system, which is essential for fighting off infections and supporting overall health, especially during cancer treatment when the immune system may be compromised.
  3. Promoting Tissue Repair and Recovery: Protein, vitamins, and minerals play pivotal roles in tissue repair and recovery, aiding the body in recuperating from the side effects of treatment and supporting overall healing processes.
  4. Managing Side Effects: Certain foods and dietary strategies can help alleviate the symptoms associated with cancer treatment, thus improving the quality of life for patients undergoing therapy.
  5. Preventing Malnutrition: Maintaining adequate nutrition is crucial for preventing malnutrition and supporting overall health and well-being during cancer treatment. Malnutrition can negatively impact treatment outcomes and exacerbate side effects.
  6. Improving Treatment Tolerance and Outcomes: By providing the body with the necessary nutrients to function optimally, proper nutrition may enhance patients’ ability to tolerate treatment, reduce treatment-related complications, and improve overall treatment outcomes and prognosis.



Save A Life, Donate To Falcon Mauritius Cancer Institute (FMCI)

In 2024, more than ever, we need your support. Donating to FMCI Mauritius is easy! Simply visit our website and get in touch with our team, who will be ready to assist you. Alternatively, feel free to call us or pay a visit to our office in Floreal if you have any questions or need further information. We have more good news to share! You can also contribute to our branch in the USA, and rest assured that all funds will directly support our cause. Your generosity will have a great impact on the lives of those fighting cancer. Without donations, our association cannot effectively carry out its mission. Just as heroes thrive with the support of a sidekick, our cancer patients rely on your generous support.


H2: The FMCI objectives are to:

  • Support all cancer and cancer-related activities; raising and investing the Association’s funds to assist and ensure the best possible life-saving treatment and care for financially disadvantaged cancer patients in Mauritius.
  • Provide medical equipment to Mauritius’ cancer hospitals;
    Assist with cancer research and development in Mauritius, including treatment, care, and side effects.
  • Continue to provide cancer patients with information resources and cancer prevention and control, as well as cancer prevention and control.
  • Offer emotional support to cancer patients.