Cancer treatment leads to a wide variety of side effects. Many people experience chewing or swallowing problems as one of these effects, particularly when it comes to solid foods or foods with texture. The chewing and swallowing problems come from a wide variety of associated problems, including muscular changes after surgery, general oral soreness, pain, mouth sores, mouth dryness, inflammation, irritation and other factors.
For a more complete diet during these problems with chewing and swallowing, try consuming different foods with easier to eat textures. These include soft foods, pureed foods, smoothies and shakes. Seek other nutritional guidance from your doctor, treatment team or dietician to ensure you keep your calorie and protein intake where it needs to be for healthy cancer recovery.
Below are some tips for working through your chewing and swallowing problems caused by cancer treatment or related side effects:
One of the best methods of gaining nutrition when you experience trouble chewing or swallowing is through pureeing of your food. Pureed food is soft and easy to swallow, but retains the food’s flavor, colors, protein and calorie content.
To puree your food, follow the instructions below:
Test your pureed foods to find the right amount of liquid and solid food to include for the best possible consistency and to meet your chewing and swallowing needs.
Always keep an open line of communication with your treatment team regarding side effects like those affecting your nutrition. Nutrition plays a critical role in cancer recovery and your ability to maintain your daily activities. When suffer problems chewing and swallowing during and after cancer treatment, talk to your doctor for help with these common side effects.