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  1. Hartmuller, Virginia W. PhD, RD, LDN
  2. Milner, John A. PhD


Despite the release of guidelines for diet and cancer survivors by several professional organizations, there remains a lack of scientific underpinning about the most effective approaches. This article reviews diet and nutrition concerns that occur during 3 specific phases: beginning with cancer treatment, where weight loss and sometimes accompanying cachexia require intervention. The second, immediately after cancer treatment, is identified as the cancer transition phase, when there is little or no coordination between the recommendations from the oncologist and other healthcare professionals. Finally, most cancer survivors find themselves in a predisposition third phase, where there is threat of cancer recurrence or development of a second cancer. Examples from the literature are provided where different responses to diet intervention have been noted in various subpopulations with respect to cancer recurrence. An individualized approach is suggested for cancer survivors with consistent, clear, and practical diet/nutrition messages that prevent unwanted weight gain, maintain normal cellular function, and eliminate or reduce comorbidities.