April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month. For the men facing a testicular cancer diagnosis, here are the answers to the FAQs about nutrition and testicular cancer:
Q: Is there a specific diet I should follow since I was just diagnosed with testicular cancer?
A: No, there is no evidenced-based diet to follow after being diagnosed with testicular cancer. However, healthy food choices are a great therapy to fight the side effects of cancer and its treatments. Click here to learn how to make healthy food choices during treatment for testicular cancer.
Q: What are the common side effects of treatment for testicular cancer?
A: The most frequent side effects of treatment for testicular cancer are fatigue, weight loss, change in digestion, low iron counts in your blood, and increased risk of infection. But rest assured there are nutrition steps you can take to help you cope with these side effects.
Q: Fatigue or lack of energy is my biggest problem. Can nutrition help?
A. Yes, nutrition can make a big difference in your energy levels! Eating small, frequent meals with protein and whole foods can help you sustain energy longer. Choosing fruits and small portions of whole grain desserts can help you avoid the “sugar crash” 1-2 hours after eating a highly concentrated source of sugar like candy and sweet desserts. Plan to have a variety of foods each day when you feel well enough to eat. Include different colors of fruits and vegetables. Variety is important! Go slow on high-fat foods like fried or rich foods. In other words, eat like a champion or athlete. Good fuel in your body equals more energy for your daily activities.
Q: Is taking dietary supplements with creatine and androstenedione harmful for testicular cancer survivors?
A:There is preliminary research at Yale University that found that 1 in 5 men diagnosed with testicular cancer had taken “muscle-building” dietary supplements, according to the study published in the British Journal of Cancer. The exact reason for this relationship between the supplements and testicular cancer is not yet clear. Is it the primary ingredient of the supplement or one of inactive ingredients? Are there other factors at play? More research is needed. Before taking any dietary supplement, discuss it first with your healthcare team.