Mesothelioma Survivors Diets

3 Min Read

a male hospital patient eats food

Dietary changes can help veterans fight mesothelioma and possibly extend their life expectancy. An oncologist (cancer doctor) can provide guidance on which foods are best for mesothelioma patients. See how veterans – and anyone affected by this deadly cancer – can follow a mesothelioma survivor’s diet.

How Diet Changes Can Help Veterans Fight Mesothelioma

Veterans with mesothelioma may find benefits from changing their diets. Following a specific diet can help the body fight cancer more effectively and help patients recover faster.

It is important to note that while dietary changes can be helpful, they cannot cure mesothelioma. Mesothelioma patients will often still need aggressive medical treatments if they want to live longer. Fortunately, changing a diet can also help patients heal after undergoing these treatments, which can be taxing on the body.

What Factors Affect Mesothelioma Survivors Diets?

Most people make the mistake of thinking that a diet is only about what you eat. In reality, the food you eat, the treatments you receive, and a variety of other factors impact mesothelioma survivors diets.

Learn more about the factors that affect these diets below.

Mesothelioma Treatment Type

Mesothelioma treatments like chemotherapy can cause patients to lose their appetite. Common side effects of chemotherapy drugs include nausea and fatigue. However, it really depends on the specific person because not everyone who receives chemotherapy will suffer these side effects.

Other mesothelioma treatment options like surgery, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy may all be used to treat this cancer and can affect a patient's appetite in different ways too.

Types of Food and Mealtimes

As patients seek treatments, it’s also helpful to eat food that will stimulate their appetite. For instance, chemotherapy patients often respond better to spicy and sweet foods, provided they are not suffering from acid reflux.

What type of food a patient eats plays a role, too. For example, chemotherapy patients may have weakened kidney function, so eating an overabundance of protein could actually make them sick.

Finally, eating at regular intervals can help some mesothelioma patients get over the feelings of nausea.

Mesothelioma Survivors Diets and Dietary Supplements

It is important that all mesothelioma patients consult with their doctor before taking any supplements. While some dietary supplements have been marketed as alleged “miracle cures” for cancers such as mesothelioma, there is no data to support these claims.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), some supplements may actually interfere with proper cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy, harming patients in the process. Recent data also suggests that dietary supplements can affect immunotherapy, the latest treatment option for mesothelioma patients.

If you are involved in a clinical trial related to mesothelioma, you may be advised not to take any supplements at all to avoid adverse reactions as well.

Creating a Mesothelioma Survivors Diet

If you are interested in creating a diet to help improve your quality of life while living with mesothelioma, see if your oncologist will give you a nutritional consultation. This can help determine what stimulates your appetite and what are the right things for you to eat as you battle cancer.

Did you know

A nutritional consultation may be covered by your insurance plan.

If your oncologist does not or cannot give you a nutritional consultation, there are other options for you to consider. For example, the ACS has dietitians on call that can assist you with creating a dietary plan that fits your needs and schedule.

The ACS also has a book and online resources about maintaining a healthy diet while facing cancer. Call a member of our team and we can send you the book.

Mesothelioma Survivors Diets: Your Next Steps

Whether are you or a loved one is a veteran with mesothelioma, it's important to have a plan. This includes developing the right diet that will help and not hinder a cancer battle.

Contact our team today at (877) 450-8973 to get important advice about starting a mesothelioma survivors diet. We have Patient Advocates and registered nurses on staff specifically to answer any and all of your questions. A member of our team is available 24/7 to help you.

Veterans Support Team
Christopher Dryfoos PhotoWritten by:

Contributing Author

Christopher Dryfoos is a journalist and member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA). As the grandson of the U.S. Navy’s first forensic pathologist, he aims to help veterans with mesothelioma access needed care.

  1. “Living As a Malignant Mesothelioma Survivor.” American Cancer Society,
  2. Radcliffe, Shawn. “Probiotics, Poor Diet May Interfere with Cancer Immunotherapy.” Healthline Blog, Healthline,