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Cancer Nutritionists & Dietitians

What makes a cancer nutritionist, often referred to as an oncology nutritionist, different from other nutritionists and dietitians? What do nutritionists and dietitians do when they are focused solely on patients who have been diagnosed with a type of cancer? Nutrition plays three major factors in the medical fight against cancer:

  1. Nutrition As Prevention
  2. Nutrition To Support Cancer Treatment
  3. Nutrition As A Treatment For Cancer

For nutritionists and dietitians who are working with patients currently battling cancer, numbers two and three are relevant to this section of information. Moreover, cancer nutritionists and dietitians working specifically with children have additional criteria they must focus on.

Nutrition To Support Cancer Treatment

Nutrition is the most important factor that people can do each day to ensure good health. However, as we all know, this can be difficult even in the best of times. Eating enough fruits and vegetables, limiting fat and simple sugars and drinking enough water is not always as easy as it sounds. But when cancer patients are faced with the affects of various ailments from either the cancer or the treatment, eating healthy can become nearly impossible. Many cancer treatments such as surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy or immunotherapy not only kill cancer cells, but many of the body’s necessary good cells along with them. Nutrition therapy then becomes the single most important factor in the patients fight to regain health from many of these treatments.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), cancer patients can suffer from a number of affects from their illness and their treatment, including:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Sore/Dry mouth or throat
  • Dental and gum problems
  • Changes in taste or smell
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Diarrhea & Constipation
  • Fatigue & Depression

Fighting cancer is a 24-hour a day, 7 day a week job, and it is up to the patient to give their best fight. A nutritionist or dietitian working with cancer patients is absolutely integral to the patient’s ability to remain as healthy as possible through the prescription of a balanced diet, provision of the right foods and liquids and any necessary supplements that can assist in the patients fight against both the cancer and any negative side-affects of the treatment.

Nutrition As A Treatment For Cancer

For many people diagnosed with cancer these days, there is a wide range of naturopathic and holistic treatments to their illness. With the negative side-affects of many of today’s traditional cancer treatments, more patients are choosing to fight their cancer with nutrition and other naturopathic regiments. For others, their cancer may not be curable with conventional medicine, or simply past the point of treatment. For these patients, nutrition becomes paramount as a means to combat their illness, from fighting the cancer back to simply improving their quality of life for the duration of their illness.

Patients needs differ depending on a wide range of factors, from the type of cancer they are battling to the types of treatments they have chosen to use. Doctors, nurses, nutritionists and dietitians work closely with cancer patients and their families to identify the specific needs of each patient, to put together a plan to provide the patient the best chance at a healthy fight. A good nutrition plan during cancer treatment can affect the following areas of the patient’s experience:

  • More energy & strength
  • Maintaining weight & increasing the body’s ability to store nutrients
  • Improve the body’s ability to tolerate side effects of treatment
  • Lowers risk of infection
  • Speeds recovery after each round of treatment

A complete nutritional treatment includes a careful analysis of each patient, identifying the levels of nutrients including proteins, carbohydrates, fats, water and all necessary vitamins and minerals.

Board Certification As A Specialist In Oncology Nutrition & The ADA

The American Dietetic Association’s credentialing agency, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) approves Board Certification for Specialists in Oncology Nutrition. This specific certification is obtained through a documented period of practical experience in the cancer field as well as an examination in cancer nutrition administered by the CDR. The Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group (ON DPG) is the professional practice group within the CDR and the ADA which oversees all oncology nutritionists and dietitians. Once an individual is board certified, he or she is then known as a CSO, or Certified Specialist in Oncology, under the ADA.

Nutrition & Cancer Organizations
American Cancer Society
1-800-ACS-2345
www.cancer.org American

Institute For Cancer Research
1759 R Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
1-800-843-8114
www.aicr.org

National Cancer Institute
6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 300
Bethesda, MD 20892-8322
1-800-4-CANCER
www.cancer.gov

Caring 4 Cancer
6031 University Blvd.
Suite 235
Ellicott City MD, 21043
www.caring4cancer.com

Nutritionist Degree Schools

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1 Program(s) Found
  • Providing accredited online courses and degree programs since 1987.
  • A military-friendly school, it ensures that service members, their spouses and veterans can maximize their military education benefits.
  • Students can customize monthly payments to fit their budgets and lifestyle.
  • Program and course tuition is all-inclusive: textbooks, learning materials, and academic support are covered in the cost.
  • Alumni can enroll in any future program at a reduced rate.
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  • Online Courses
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  • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
  • In a 2013 survey, 83% of students said they would recommend the university to others.
  • Most degree-seeking online and campus-based students are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
  • Average class sizes is 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
  • Founded in 1937 in Davenport, Iowa as the American Institute of Commerce (AIC).
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Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
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  • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,000.
  • Ranked #14 in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News.
  • The student-faculty ratio is 11:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • At the end of their freshman year, 84% of students return to continue their education.
  • Students attend only one class at a time for four weeks, ensuring easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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  • Ranked one of the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Offers a no-obligation, 3-week trial period where students may determine if the university is right for them before they commit to it.
  • Strives to be a student’s partner in lifelong learning; committed to helping them achieve their goals.
  • Serves students of all ages, from first-graders learning to read to professionals seeking postgraduate training.
  • Provides career-oriented diploma through master’s programs in fields such as healthcare, business, legal and paralegal services, information technology, criminal justice and design.
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Brandman University , Culver City
  • Ranked #8 in the 2013 Best Online Undergrad Programs by U.S. News & World Report.
  • 70% graduation rate– significantly higher than the national average of 59%. 
  • Ranked #2 by U.S. News & World Report for Best Online Bachelor's Programs for Veterans. 
  • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), one of six regional accrediting associations that accredit public and private colleges and universities in the United States.  
  • Has a network of 26 campuses.
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Good for Working Adults
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  • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
  • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
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  • Online Courses
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  • Each year since 2004, The Princeton Review has included California University in its
  • Best in the Northeast listing, recognizing Cal U as one of the best regional universities in the northeastern United States.
  • Ranked #44 in Top Public Schools by U.S. News and World Reports in 2013.
  • average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, was 75% in 2012.
  • Students in its Global Online program earn the same diploma as graduates from Cal U’s traditional degree programs.
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  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
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  • Offers several scholarship opportunities to students who qualify.
  • Many student organizations and club are present on campus, including numerous Greek honor/service societies, drama club, book club, and a campus ministry.
  • Main campus is located in Salem, West Virginia, but also offers online options.
  • Originally founded in 1889 as Salem College.
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
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Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
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