Amy Thomas

Patient Expert
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Amy wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Cancer and Nutrition.

Latest by Amy Thomas


Alternative forms of feeding: Parenteral Nutrition

Sometimes a person with cancer cannot properly nourish their body through eating and drinking, and their doctor may recommend alternative modes of nutritional support. If the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is functioning normally, a feeding tube is usua...


Feeding A Child With No Appetite

It’s hard enough getting any three year old to eat, but parents of children with cancer face a special challenge ensuring their child is getting adequate calories each day. In addition to natural childhood stubbornness about food, treatment side effe...

Bone Density

Taking care of your bones

Healthy bones can be the key to good health and happiness. Consider what you couldn’t do without strong, healthy bones. No running, walking, jumping, bending, gardening, dancing, or holding a baby. So it’s important to take good care of your bones, e...

Feeding tube and bag.

Hard to Swallow Part 3: Tube Feed or Not Tube Feed

The decision to eat through a feeding tube is personal decision that must be made with special care and consideration.


Hard to Swallow Part 2 - Understanding dysphagia and thickeners

My last post discussed the evaluation of dysphagia, aspiration, and the modified barium swallow examination. This post covers thickeners, which can be beneficial for a select group of people who have trouble swallowing. When someone aspirates (breath...


Hard to swallow: Understanding Dysphagia

Difficulty swallowing, also called dysphagia, can occur in cancer patients for many reasons, particularly in those receiving chemotherapy and radiation for head and neck cancer. Conditions or treatments that damage the muscles and nerves that control ...


The Benefits of Garlic

The anti-cancer properties of garlic were first recognized in the 1950’s when scientists linked allicin, a principal component of garlic, to tumor inhibition. Since then scientific investigation has consistently demonstrated that regular garlic consu...


Nutritional considerations during steroid treatment - Part 2

My last post reviewed some of the common adverse nutritional effects caused by steroid therapy, including stomach irritation, weight gain, and vitamin D and calcium deficiency. Additional complications of steroid treatment include protein breakdown, ...


Nutritional considerations during steroid treatment-Part 1

The medical use of steroids is constantly reexamined because the agents have numerous side effects. While popular media coverage highlights concerns regarding their risks, steroids do have a multitude of beneficial properties and are often a key comp...

End of Life

End of Life Care and Diet

While for most people the primary goal of eating and drinking is to sustain energy and life, the goal of nutritional care for those with advanced cancer is quite different. Advanced cancer usually refers to cancer that can no longer be cured, and car...