Mesothelioma Diet and Nutrition Guide

Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer. It is considered to be extremely malignant. Mesothelioma is caused because of inhaling asbestos fibers. Further, it forms a lining outside the lungs, abdomen, and heart. It is the cancer of the mesothelium. Alongside a proper treatment, this disease should also receive the support of a proper mesothelioma diet.

There is a list of mesothelioma symptoms which a person needs to look for before approaching the doctor. Dr Sugarbaker Baylor was one of the top mesothelioma doctors across the world. Mesothelioma is divided based on the location of the body and also the type of cell that it affects.  

The four types of mesothelioma based on the location of the body are as follows. 

Mesothelioma cell subtypes are as follows.

  • Epithelioid mesothelioma
  • Sarcomatoid mesothelioma
  • Biphasic mesothelioma

There are various tests that one needs to perform to check if he or she has mesothelioma. Some of the standard tests for mesothelioma diagnosis are radiology tests, for example, chest X-beams and CT sweeps of the chest or belly. 

An on-time mesothelioma diagnosis will help the doctors prescribe the best mesothelioma treatment for the patient. 

Let us now understand the role of a diet for a mesothelioma patient.

The Role Of Diet For A Mesothelioma Patient

A diet plays a vital role in all mesothelioma patients. The symptoms of mesothelioma in a person exist long before they are even detected. Thus, before the mesothelioma patients also get diagnosed with it, they might have already lost up to 10 percent of the body weight. Therefore, mesothelioma patients need to follow a nutritious diet so that they don’t drain out of energy and appetite.

Mesothelioma patients need to keep track of their eating habits so that the effect of cancer reduces along with its detrimental effects. Mesothelioma affects the appetite and also ends up with harmful effects like:

  • a sore and dry mouth;
  • extreme fatigue;
  • diarrhea; and/or
  • nausea. 

Generally, mesothelioma patients are over the fifties while they get diagnosed with it. Thus, it becomes necessary that they have the right diet. Patient’s family members or caregivers should ensure that they have a nutritious diet. Further, these family members or caregivers should also be aware of what, how, and how much quantity of food is to be given to these patients.

In general, a healthy diet for an individual includes lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and less meat and dairy products with less sugar, salt, and fats. However, a dietary requirement for a mesothelioma patient is entirely different.

A cancer patient should have a higher calorie and higher protein foods. A list of such foods is as follows.

  • cheese, 
  • meat, which includes beef and chicken, 
  • whole milk, 
  • eggs, 
  • sauces, gravies and salad dressings, and
  • butter, margarine, and oil.

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Let us now read about the importance of weight for mesothelioma patients. 

The Role Of Weight In Mesothelioma

Not only mesothelioma, but even its treatment causes a lot of anxiety, stress, and a lack of appetite. Further, all of these reasons can lead to rapid weight loss.

Losing weight involuntarily is very harmful. A person having cancer must take care of his weight. The chances are that a cancer patient undergoing treatment may lose weight. Notably, a mesothelioma patient may lose weight unintentionally during medical procedures. 

A cancer patient’s diet should include a lot of proteins and calories so that they can meet their daily nutrition requirements and survive the cancer treatments and recover safely. Thus, health professionals across the world recommend that cancer patients have the right amount of nutrients so that they put on the weight carefully. 

All mesothelioma patients need to maintain their weight. Further, they need to eat a nutritious and balanced diet during their treatments. A nutritious mesothelioma diet helps the patient in the following ways.

  • lessens the risk of infection
  • enhances the pace of the recovery
  • improves the stamina and energy 
  • lifts the mood
  • aids in maintaining a healthy weight
  • decreases the side effects of the treatment

Therefore, all the mesothelioma patients need to have a nutritious diet so that they recover and survive their perilous cancer treatments. Further, having a nutritious diet will also help them to maintain their weight.

Let us read about what a mesothelioma patient should include in his/her diet.

What To Include In Mesothelioma Diet?

It is really important to eat right. A mesothelioma patient must have a nutritious diet so that they can endure harmful cancer therapies and recover prudently. 

A list of nutritious food items that should be included in the mesothelioma diet is as follows.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables in your daily diet are essential. These fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants that aid in protecting and reinstating the body. Vitamins C, A and E, and selenium are a part of antioxidants. Ensure that you have a different variety of fruits and vegetables so that you get all the needed antioxidants. It is recommended to avoid taking supplements during cancer therapies.


A mesothelioma patient needs to have some extra weight to keep their treatment going. Thus, a body needs sufficient fats to survive. Further, fat provides the body with energy. However, one should choose to have good fats from olive oil, nuts, avocado, and seafood. Omega 3 fatty acids are a good choice. 


Protein enhances immunity and also rebuilds the tissues which are damaged by mesothelioma. It is recommended to have a lot of proteins after undergoing the mesothelioma treatment. You get proteins in abundance from chicken, soy products, dairy foods, lentils, fish, and lean meats, nuts and dried beans, and peas. 


Patients need to have sufficient energy in the form of carbohydrates. Also, one can get a good source of carbohydrates from pasta, cereals, whole-wheat bread, and brown rice. Even corn and potatoes are also excellent sources of carbohydrates.


For the proper functioning of your body cells, water is essential. Also, sufficient water is always needed to be always hydrated. Further, one should make sure to have at least 8 to 10 glasses of water every day. 

Let us go through the diet, which is to be followed by mesothelioma patients during their treatments. 

Mesothelioma Diet During Treatment

A mesothelioma patient must have a nutritious diet while undergoing mesothelioma treatment. A mesothelioma patient needs to follow a specific diet during the various stages of the procedure.

Mesothelioma diet needs to be followed by the patients at various stages of their treatments


Many peritoneal mesothelioma patients can attain nutrition only for a little time after their abdominal surgery. 

An underweight patient needs to gain weight before getting the surgery done. Being healthy before getting a mesothelioma surgery improves the healing for the wound, lessens the risk of infection, and helps in recovery.

During Chemotherapy

Chewing and digestion get affected while undergoing chemotherapy. The chemotherapy kills the cells in your mouth, hair follicles, and the digestive tract. Soft food is advised in case the mouth sores after the treatment.

 Many patients also experience extreme cold sensitivity. The patients, in that case, need to avoid eating chilled or frozen foods.

Further, chemotherapy can also cause nausea and reduce appetite. Further, any changes in your diet and eating habits can help you to go easy with the side effects.

Radiation Therapy

Swallowing gets affected while undergoing radiation therapy. Very few peritoneal mesothelioma patients undergo radiation therapy around their abdomen. It affects the digestive issues like nausea, cramps, bloating, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Let us go through some common issues related to the mesothelioma diet and their solutions. 

Common Mesothelioma Diet Problems And Their Solutions

Mesothelioma patients face a lot of eating problems while they are undergoing cancer treatment. First of all, they must discuss their eating problems with their healthcare providers.

Some of the eating problems which a mesothelioma patient faces while taking a cancer treatment are as follows. 

Loss Of Appetite

How you manage your loss of appetite depends on the timing and duration of it. The best possible solution to this can be to eat a huge meal when you feel like having it irrespective of time, eating more liquid feeds, and having smaller meals instead of more substantial meals. Further, exercising can also help in stimulating the appetite.


Ensure not to sleep empty stomach as it worsens your nausea. Have foods that are easy on your belly like white toast and plain yogurt. Also, make sure to reduce the liquids during your meal times to avoid feeling bloated.


Have a lot of liquids to replace those which are lost due to diarrhea. Further, have such food and drinks which are high in potassium and sodium. Do not have any food with high-fiber, greasy foods, milk products, and alcohol. 

Dry Mouth

Do keep a bottle of water alongside to keep sipping across the day. Also, have sweet or tart foods and drinks which stimulate the production of saliva. Do not have alcohol. 

Weight Loss

Make sure that you never skip your meals. Further, have foods like peanut butter, which are high in calories. You can also have milkshakes and smoothies if you don’t feel hungry.

Let us go through the list of vitamins and minerals that a mesothelioma patient you include in the mesothelioma diet. 

Vitamins And Minerals In Mesothelioma Diet

If you eat healthy and nutritious food, you can quickly get all your essential nutrients. However, it is challenging for mesothelioma patients to get all the nutrients as while they are recovering and undergoing treatment.

The mesothelioma patients should speak to their healthcare providers about what nutritional supplements to take, as some of them can even be harmful during the treatment.

For instance, there are certain nutrients whose consumption before chemotherapy, can help your body to respond better. The cancer patients should take vitamins, folic acid and B12 before their chemotherapy, along with Cisplatin and Alimta, to reduce the side effects. Nevertheless, any other nutrients can affect the effectiveness or can also cause side effects.

Talk to your doctor about which nutritional supplements you should avoid. Further, you can also form a diet that suits your diagnosis and treatment from your healthcare provider. Also, check with your doctor if a nutritional supplement is safe to consume or not during the cancer treatments.

Let us now go through a list of foods that a mesothelioma patient should not include in their diet.

Foods One Should Not Include In The Mesothelioma Diet

Mesothelioma patients need to take complete care of their diet. A list of food items which a mesothelioma patient should avoid is as follows.

Red Meat

It is carcinogenic. Anyone who is undergoing cancer treatments should avoid eating foods like lamb, beef, and pork.

Alcohol And Cigarettes

Patients suffering from mesothelioma should avoid having a drink. It is Group 1 carcinogenic. Further, one should also avoid cigarettes as they are carcinogenic. Also, it affects the lungs.

Processed Meat

Bacon, pepperoni, salami, sausage, prosciutto, and deli meats can cause cancer. So, one must not include such things in the mesothelioma diet.

Refined Sugar And High Fructose Corn Syrup

Cancer patients should keep track of their sugar intake, especially refined sugars.


Mesothelioma is one of the types of cancers which is highly malignant. Mesothelioma patients may lose a lot of weight while undergoing their treatments. Thus, they must have a nutritious and healthy diet.  

Further, it is also essential that mesothelioma patients keep track of their weight while going through their treatments.

Mesothelioma patients should have a mesothelioma diet, which includes fruits and vegetables, fats, proteins, carbs, and water. Also, mesothelioma patients should ensure that they exclude red meat, alcohol and cigarettes, processed meat, refined sugar, and high fructose corn syrup from their mesothelioma diet. 

Further, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, and weight loss are some of the common mesothelioma diet problems.

Mesothelioma patients should include vitamins and minerals in their mesothelioma diet.

We hope that this article proves helpful for anyone who reads it.

Sat Healthy, stay Fit!

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