There are many ways that ovarian cancer can be treated, including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and medication. Many physicians also recommend that patients keep active and eat a diet that is well-balanced and rich in protein. Protein is essential for tissue growth, repair and recovery and is also a dietary source of energy.
It is essential that ovarian cancer patients eat protein-rich foods, which includes lean red meat, poultry, fatty fish such as salmon, nuts, milk products and soy. It is also recommended that patients eat a number of smaller meals throughout the day rather than three meals spread further apart.
Using Protein Supplements in the Treatment of Ovarian Cancer
Many ovarian cancer patients find that they are often weak following treatments and do not feel like eating. This is when protein supplements can especially come in handy. Many supplements can be added to shakes and smoothies, so they are easy to drink and will digest quickly and go to work to help the patient in their recovery. Some of the more popular types of protein supplements include protein powders and liquid protein supplements.
Protein Powder – These are great for people who are busy and are looking for something they can eat or drink on the go. Protein powders can be used to make tasty shakes and smoothies, or they can be incorporated into a number of recipes.
Liquid Protein – You can also use liquid protein to make shakes and smoothies, or it can be used as a stand-alone drink. They are often used post-workout for muscle recovery, and many people, especially people on low-calorie or liquid diets, use liquid protein supplements as meal replacements. Profect, from Protica, is a popular liquid protein supplement that is fat-free and low in calories. Because it is less than a three-ounce serving, it is not too filling, and it provides 25 grams of protein per serving as well as other important vitamins and nutrients.
Types of Protein
There are a number of types of protein, and some types are great for some people but not so great for others, especially those with food intolerances or allergies. The main types of protein are whey, casein, soy, rice and egg.
Whey Protein – Whey is a protein that is quickly and easily digested, so it provides immediate muscle recovery effects following workouts. Because whey is a milk derivative, a byproduct from the cheese-making process, it is not good for people who are lactose intolerant or have allergies to milk and milk products.
Soy Protein – Soy protein contains no saturated fats or cholesterol and is considered healthy for everyone. Soy protein is a complete protein, is gluten-free and is low in carbohydrates, fat and sugar.
Rice Protein – Rice protein is a terrific protein supplement for vegetarians, people with allergies (it is hypoallergenic) and those who are lactose intolerant. It is gluten-free, low in carbohydrates and low in fat and sugar as well. Rice protein comes from brown rice, and is considered to be a complete protein because it contains all 22 of the essential and non-essential amino acids.
Ovarian Cancer and Protein: A Case Study
Linda was in her sixties when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The doctor was glad to have caught it in the early stages (Stage One to be exact) and removed her ovaries. In a preemptive move, he also removed her uterus and fallopian tubes. After finishing the surgery, he started her on a round of chemotherapy. Frightened, Linda started reading everything that she possibly could about chemo and what to expect. She knew that she would feel poorly but that she would have to eat to keep up her strength and try to keep her immune system from being depleted completely. She also knew that it wouldn’t be easy.
After coming home on the first chemo day, she found that eating solid foods was completely out of the question, but that she could tolerate some liquids. Thankfully, she had done her research, so she knew that she could use Profect to keep her strength up. She also knew that it would give her a good amount of protein and that she could consume it in mere seconds. Any longer than that and she might let nausea win out and not be able to eat at all. There are several fruit-based flavors of Profect for her to try, and she has found several that are actually appealing.
Linda knows that she was lucky in that the cancer was found so quickly and that the doctor feels that it was all removed. She also knows that she will need to get her strength back after the treatments are all completed. She is not ready to let cancer get the best of her, and she will continue to fight as much as she physically and mentally can.