Last evening, I breathed a sigh of relief as I crossed the Mississippi into Memphis once again. Over the last few days I drove 15 hrs, listened to the entire second book in the Hunger Games Series Catching Fire on Audible, drank copious amounts of coffee, and sat in on about a dozen cancer nutrition presentations! That’s right, I was in Dallas, TX for the first ever Oncology Dietetic Practice Group National Conference. I seriously learned so much applicable information over the course of the day and a half of presentations. I also realized I still have sooo much to learn. BTW, has anyone else notice that it is always windy in Dalllas?! Both times I’ve visited it’s been so blustery. (I don’t think I could ever have a good hair day if I lived there! Big curly hair + humidity + high winds = recipe for disaster…) Anyways, I thought I would share a few interesting things I learned. 🙂
-Originally, head and neck cancers were only strongly linked to people with a history of smoking and alcohol abuse and it was diagnosed when over the age of 65 typically. Now, it is becoming more common to see younger patients with these cancers due to HPV. Not quite the same as the STD linked to cervical cancers but a similar strain found in the oral mucosa.
– The number of cancer survivors is increasing dramatically – by 2020, there may be up to 19 million!
– The nutrient needs of patients undergoing bone marrow transplant is incredible! Especially if they develop a complication like graft vs. host disease. An average patient needs 25-30 kcals/kg of body weight while a transplant patient may need 50 kcals/kg of body weight. For example: a normal 5’11” male weighing 180 lbs will need between 2050 – 2460 calories/day while that same man after transplant will need 4100 calories per day!! A nearly impossible amount to eat especially when also combating nausea, diarrhea, etc. Thankfully, nutrition support is an option!
– Even if a woman is overweight/obese she can still improve her odds of survival after breast cancer by maintaining a high fruit/vegetable diet and exercising regularly.
I could go on forever – but I promise I won’t! I was glad for opportunity to go for sure. I’m excited to get to practice some of the things I’ve learned once I get back to work. 🙂