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Supplements and Diet as Alternatives for Chemotherapy and Radiation

  • Ask the Nutritionist

    Q: I am a 39-year-old male that has been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. Is there a combination of supplements and diet that could be recommended to fight my cancer that would be an alternative to doing a combination of chemotherapy and radiation?

    Palmer, GA, May, 2017

    A: We recommend a well-balanced diet with plenty of minimally processed, plant-based foods, like nuts, seeds, nut butters, avocados, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Getting a balanced plate that is half vegetables and includes protein-rich foods is important for supporting a healthy immune system. Protein can come from lean meat sources, fish, eggs, beans, lentils, and even whole grains like quinoa and oats. In addition to protein, your diet should be balanced with healthy fats (foods with these unsaturated fats include nuts, avocado, and oily fish).

    Fruits and vegetables, as well as fresh or dried herbs and spices, will provide immune supportive vitamins and minerals, and incorporating high fiber foods will promote a healthy digestive system. Good nutrition can help ease symptoms of treatment and help to promote overall wellness and survivorship. However, substituting diet or lifestyle choices for chemotherapy and radiation is something that must be discussed with your current treatment team.

  • Nutrition & Diet
  • Dana-Farber Nutrition Team

    Meet Our Nutritionists

    Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center has one of the largest outpatient oncology nutrition departments in the United States. Our team is a diverse set of professionals, each with a specialized area of expertise.

    fresh fruit and vegetables

    Nutrition Services

    Our nutrition experts help patients follow a healthy diet during and after cancer treatment.
    healthy smoothies

    Eating Well During Cancer Video Series

    This video series and resource toolkit features Dana-Farber nutrition specialist Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN, and explores how diet can help support your health and wellbeing during and after cancer treatment.