Surgery can be a very effective treatment for stomach cancer, but if you have part of your stomach removed it can make it harder for you to get the nutrition you need. You will have to make some changes to your diet after you have surgery for gastric cancer treatment.
Eating After a Gastrectomy
The effect of your gastric cancer treatment will depend on whether you need to have a partial or total gastrectomy. If you only need to have part of your stomach removed, the remaining part will gradually expand, allowing you to eat fairly normally in time. You will need to eat smaller portions at first as your stomach will fill up quickly. In order to get all the nutrition you need, it can help to eat frequent small meals throughout the day. You may find that you suffer from indigestion more easily after the operation and you will also need to avoid high fibre foods at first, as they can leave you feeling uncomfortably full.
If your whole stomach has to be removed to eliminate cancer, it can take longer for your body to adjust. Food will be passing into your lower digestive system without having been broken down by your stomach juices, so you will need to make some changes to what you are eating. Some foods that you enjoyed before may leave you feeling uncomfortable now.
Eating a Balanced Diet
Getting all of the nutrients you need can be difficult after a partial or total gastrectomy. Your doctor can advise you on your diet, but you may still need to take some vitamin and mineral supplements. Getting enough calcium, iron and vitamins C and D can be particularly difficult. If you have had a gastrectomy for gastric cancer treatment, you will usually need regular injections of B12. Vitamin B12 is essential for your nervous system and to prevent anaemia, but you can only absorb it through your stomach.