Patient informationMultidisciplinary careGetting supportRelationships & communicationFinancial issuesPractical issuesNutritional supportDietary adviceEating problemsOther sources of helpComplementary therapiesVolunteer with us Coping with eating problems Share your needs and concerns with your family and friends, particularly those who prepare meals for you. Let them know that you appreciate their support. Some tips may work for you but others may not, don’t be afraid to give them a try. If your eating problems persist and you need more help, see your dietician, doctor or nurse. You may experience some of the following problems which may make eating difficult: Nausea and vomiting Nausea and vomiting are common side effects of cancer treatments. Thanks to improvements in anti-emetic (anti-nausea) drugs however, nausea is generally well controlled these days. Loss of appetite There are many reasons for loss of appetite. These include the physical side effects of treatment as well as the psychological ones. Fear, anxiety and/or or depression can all impact upon your desire for food. Most people find that although their appetite improves once they finish treatment, and/or leave hospital, it often takes some time before they are able to east as much as they used to. Changes in taste and/or smell Sometimes your sense of taste or smell may change because of the effects of chemotherapy, radiotherapy or the cancer itself. Adding flavour to food may increase your appetite and help you deal with changes in taste and smell. Sore mouth or throat A sore mouth or throat, also known as mucositis, is a common and uncomfortable side effect of cancer treatments. It usually starts about a week after the treatment has finished and goes away a couple of weeks later. During this time your mouth and throat could get quite sore and it may be difficult to eat. Some cancer treatments cause mouth ulcers or change the amount of saliva in your mouth. These changes can make your mouth feel hot or uncomfortable, and swallowing may become painful. Tooth and gum problems can occur and your lips can become dry. Dry mouth Some people have a dry mouth (also called xerostomia) after chemotherapy or radiotherapy. A lack of saliva may make it difficult to chew and swallow. Dry mouth also may affect the way that food tastes. Keeping your mouth clean It is important to keep your mouth as clean as possible while you are having treatment, to help prevent infection. Your nurse will show you how to care for your mouth and teeth during this time. If your eating problems persist and you need more help, see your dietician, doctor or nurse.