Cancer at Thanksgiving: A Guide for Patients and Caregivers

Monday, November 19, 2018 - 1:03pm

Thanksgiving is the time when we try to be thankful for what we have, to enjoy the company of our friends and family over a nice meal, and for many of us, it's the official start to the holidays. However, we know how a cancer diagnosis or continuing treatment during this time of year can easily dim the season’s sparkle.

Roswell Park is here to help! Take a look back at some of our blogs featuring healthy eating tips, and advice on how to help manage your stress on Thanksgiving and beyond. We hope this guide helps you have a healthier and happier start to your holiday season.


1. How to Have a Healthier Thanksgiving

Eating a full day’s worth of calories for just one meal can leave you feeling sluggish, bloated and guilty. The following tips and healthier recipes can help you manage your waistline and maintain your overall health while still enjoying the food and family time.


2. On Turkey Day, Give Thanks for Tryptophan—Sincerely, Your Immune System

After years of taking a bad rap as a sleep aid, it’s time for tryptophan to get the respect it deserves — because it’s really important to your immune system. In fact, researchers at Roswell Park’s Center for Immunotherapy want to help cancer patients’ immune cells get a hearty helping of tryptophan so they’ll be strong enough to fight the disease.


3. This Year, Enjoy Happy, Simple Holidays

Avoiding overload during the holiday season can be difficult, even when we’re feeling our best. Instead of visions of dancing sugar plums, our heads fill with guilt-inducing to-do lists. Cancer treatment can easily dim the sparkle of the season, but it doesn’t have to.


4. Coping with Holiday Stress as a Cancer Patient or Family Member

One of the main stressors that people and patients may experience around the holidays is the pressure of expectations. There is gift giving, visiting with family, party planning and so on. For cancer patients in particular, the added stress of the holidays may be a result of addressing questions of diagnosis and treatment. This creates anxiety in an already stressful time of the year.

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5. Pump Up the Refreshment in a Healthy Pumpkin Banana Smoothie

When most people think of pumpkins, they think of jack-o-lanterns and the Great Pumpkin. But pumpkins are packed with healthy nutrients including vitamin A, fiber, and powerful antioxidants like lutein. Lutein is a carotenoid that may inhibit cancer cell growth and enhance your immune response.

This smoothie also contains banana, which is a great source of dietary fiber, potassium, and vitamin B6. The yogurt and milk ingredients provide additional potassium, calcium, and protein